Submissions roll in for new hospital site
A DECISION on the site for the new Bundaberg hospital is just a few months away with the submissions for site considerations closing on Monday.
Health Minister Steven Miles said they've been met with a good response from landowners throughout the expression of interest phase and were intrigued to see what would be submitted in the final days before deadline.
"We're investing in a detailed business case for a new hospital in Bundaberg to meet the health care needs of the Wide Bay community into the future," Mr Miles said.
"I'm advised Building Queensland has received good interest from landowners and they're looking forward to receiving even more submissions before the EOI process closes on Monday.
"All options will be considered by Building Queensland and Wide Bay HHS to assess a range of elements, including flooding risk and make a recommendation to the Queensland Government on the new site.
"A decision on the new site is then expected to be made early 2020."
The multi-million dollar detailed business case is being led by Building Queensland in partnership with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service for the hospital which is likely to be built with the capacity to sufficiently meet the health needs of the Bundaberg community and surrounds for the next 50 years.
Last year Bundaberg businessman John Santalucia offered "10ha of land as well as half a million dollars' worth of development for an underground carpark, free of charge" for a new hospital to be built.
Stipulations for the site include a minimum of 15-20 hectares within 17 kilometres of Bundaberg's Central Business District.
Throughout the preliminary business case, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chairwoman Peta Jamieson said there would be at least 1000 jobs created through the construction phase and then once we have a new hospital operational there would potentially be 800 new positions created.
Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce vice-president Tim Sayre said the chamber was keen to see this project continue and hoped that a successful site was located and named shortly. He said they would be happy to see the new hospital at any suitable site in Bundaberg.
"Chamber would be expecting that local Bundaberg businesses would be considered favourably for any tendering work as the project progresses," he said.
Mr Sayre said the new hospital would provide a significant boost to our economy, bringing in much-needed investment into the area and many new jobs, both in the hospital itself and in the industries that support the hospital.
"Coupled with the new LifeFlight and RFDS aeromedical centre at the airport, and the proposed medical school, Bundaberg is well positioned to ensure the medical needs of residents are met for many years to come," he said.
The NewsMail previously reported that the new Bundaberg hospital could cost anywhere between $400 million and $1.8 billion judging from the costs of other new Queensland hospitals.
While the site decision for a new hospital is nearing, the journey is far from over.
Anyone wishing to put forward their nominated site for consideration has until September 9.
To register your interest and/or to receive a copy of the Expression of Interest Document, contact WBHHS's Property Consultant Mr John Woolley on 0417 603 702 or email email@example.com.