The Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre is a major health infrastructure project for Canberra and the surrounding region.

The WVCC supports this facility on the Canberra Hospital campus

The SPIRE Centre will increase the territory’s capacity to deliver acute, hospital-based health care in a modern, purpose-built facility. It will see $500 million invested in the Canberra Hospital campus.

The building will include:

  • more operating theatres for elective and emergency surgery
  • more inpatient beds and a larger intensive care unit
  • a coronary care unit for people requiring high level care for heart conditions
  • state-of-the-art surgical, procedural and imaging facilities
  • a significantly expanded ED, enabling capacity for specialist emergency healthcare for women and children
  • The first Woden Valley Hospital buildings were constructed between 1969 and 1973 and were ‘state of the art’ in their day.

This centrally located campus now provides an opportunity to plan for the staged development of a world class health precinct to meet the needs of the growing community over the coming decades.

The ACT Treasury forecasts (Population Projections 2018 to 2058 – released January 2019) Canberra’s population to reach 581,000 by 2040 and 703,000 by 2058 (also add the growing regional population).

The Precinct plan will require a strategy to replace the old hospital buildings while continuing to deliver the existing critical care services.

The current SPIRE site was chosen because it will minimise disruption to existing critical care services such as the emergency department and helipad.

Garran residents have expressed the following concerns about SPIRE on Palmer St.:

  • safety of the community (especially children) due to the ambulance movements on Palmer Street, a residential street opposite the Garran Primary School
  • traffic congestion on Kitchener St, Gilmore Cres and Palmer St which is the main entrance to Garran and Hughes from Hindmarsh Drive.
  • parking shortages
  • noise from the helicopter pad (on the 9 storey SPIRE).

The Garran residents have undertaken a petition which can be found at:  https://epetitions.act.gov.au/CurrentEPetitions.aspx

The broader community has raised concerns about the lack of a precinct plan to ensure the emergency building is sited in the best position for:

  • efficient ambulance acces
  • efficient and effective patient flows
  • connectivity to the rest of the precinct, including the wards, parking, education, accommodation and green peaceful places
  • staff well-being and a great culture in the work plac
  • a world class hospital precinct

Currently DA201936089 for the demolition of buildings 5 and 24 (site for SPIRE) is open for comment until 13 November 19, and can be found at: https://www.planning.act.gov.au/development_applications/pubnote/development_applications_ordered_by_district

The precinct also includes the former Woden Valley High School (then CIT). These buildings are were built in the 1960s by the Commonwealth and are structurally sound. They are not is use and available for refurbishment. They were recently approved for demolition.

Background

In 2008-09 Budget, the ACT Government released the Your Health – Our Priority initiative which provided $300 million to begin work on a ten year plan for the renewal of health services for Canberra.

Under this initiative the Emergency building was to be located on Building 3 with access from Yamba Drive, there was a medi hotel and a training and education precinct in addition to the ANU medical school.

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