News & Media

New Austin Mental Health Unit on track

The Minister for Major Projects, John Lenders, today visited Victoria’s largest hospital redevelopment to inspect progress on the $17 million mental health unit under construction in Heidelberg. Mr Lenders said the new mental health unit, housing 30 acute and specialist mental health beds and 25 secure extended mental health beds, was part of the $408 million Austin Health Redevelopment and Mercy Relocation project. “When construction is complete, Melbourne’s north-east suburbs will have a first-rate mental health unit,” Mr Lenders said. “We are a third of the way through the project, and already we are seeing an impressive major project take shape. “The Bracks Government is investing in key infrastructure projects to deliver better health and other key services for all Victorians.” Mr Lenders and local MP Craig Langdon toured the construction site on the corner of Burgundy Street and Upper Heidelberg Road while workers had their lunch break. Mr Lenders said the bulk of the steel frame shell of the new building had been erected and seven of the nine concrete slabs had been laid since construction started in March this year. Mr Langdon said the Bracks Government was delivering better infrastructure for health services. “The Government is building modern, state of the art facilities for doctors, nurses and other health professionals to deliver better health care for people living in Melbourne’s north east.” Mr Lenders said in the May State Budget, funding of $8.1 million was allocated to construct the 25-bed, secure, extended-care unit. “This unit replaces Bunjil House, the temporary mental health facility at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital nearby,” Mr Lenders said. “Meanwhile, construction work continues at the Austin Hospital which is now partially vacant after the new Austin tower was occupied earlier this year.” Mr Lenders said remaining work on the Austin Mercy redevelopment project included: · New day surgery and recovery facilities, including two new operating theatres, · A new finishing kitchen for the Austin Hospital and Mercy Hospital for Women, and; · Extension and refurbishment of the existing Austin Hospital medical library. “Construction and refurbishment in the existing Austin Hospital is due for completion in 2007.”