Building Milestone At Austin Hospital
The backbone of Australia’s largest hospital project was cemented today with Health Minister John Thwaites overseeing the first concrete pour on the $325 million construction site at the Austin hospital.
Two hundred thousand cubic metres of earth has been removed – the equivalent of 50 Olympic swimming pools in the hole the size of the MCG – in preparation for the first concrete pads.
“This is a major construction milestone for the hospital and the Bracks Government, which came to office on a promise to stop the hospital’s privatisation and keep it in public hands,” Mr Thwaites said.
The redevelopment of the Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre and the relocation of the Mercy Hospital for Women is currently the largest hospital project in Australia.
The project includes: · A new acute 400-bed block, emergency department, operating theatres and intensive and critical care units;· New and expanded mental health facilities, psychiatric services and veterans’ health facilities;· A new Mercy Hospital for Women with 106 beds, 62 neonatal cots, 17 delivery rooms and 4 operating theatres; and· A 1200-space, four-level basement car park.
Mr Thwaites said the four-storey, 1200 space car park structure was due to be completed in early 2003.
Construction would then commence on the new A&RMC hospital and the new Mercy Hospital for Women.
“These two new towers will be complete by late 2004. The focus will then turn to refurbishment at both the Austin and repatriation campuses.
“Having put an end to the privatisation of our public hospitals, this $325 million project will bring together two of Victoria’s finest public hospitals on the one site providing world class acute and specialist facilities,” Mr Thwaites said.
The project is being managed by construction company Baulderstone Hornibrook.
Mr Thwaites said it had taken 21 trucks a total of 80 days (making seven trips a day) to remove the earth to allow the concrete pour to begin.