Queensland is a significant step closer to having a world-leading health precinct at Brisbane’s Herston Quarter after Australian Unity today executed a series of agreements for the development.
The $1.1 billion Herston Quarter project is set to provide Queenslanders with access to state-of-the-art health, hospital and aged care services, as well as creating scope in the future for international standard research and educational facilities.
“This project embodies Australian Unity’s vision to create the social infrastructure people need, and we appreciate the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to moving ahead with this important project for Brisbane and Queensland,” Australian Unity Group Managing Director Rohan Mead said.
“The exchange of contracts between Australian Unity and Metro North Hospital and Health Service for Herston Quarter is a vital step on the path to delivering stronger future health outcomes to Queenslanders.”
In August, the Palaszczuk Government announced Australian Unity as the preferred tenderer for the development of Herston Quarter after a rigorous selection process. Located adjacent to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in inner suburban Brisbane, the Herston Quarter is set to include a specialist rehabilitation and ambulatory care centre, a private hospital, residential aged care, retirement living and student accommodation; childcare; a co-working hub and education and training facilities.
“Australian Unity is a 177-year old member-based mutual organisation, so we can focus on longer-term projects such as Herston Quarter that deliver community value over time ahead of short-term shareholder returns,” Mr Mead said.
Australian Unity Chief Investment Officer David Bryant said the Herston Quarter as envisaged would bring together in one project much of Australian Unity’s broader business capacity.
“Herston Quarter will combine our experience in the construction of hospitals and the operation of ‘hard’ social infrastructure such as aged care and retirement villages with our expertise in the provision of ‘soft’ social infrastructure, such as our preventative health businesses, playing an integral part in the health research element of the project,” Mr Bryant said.
Mr Bryant said the overall project had a five to 10 year construction life, but would be completed in stages.
“The first building planned for construction is the public rehabilitation hospital, which we anticipate will be up and running by 2020,’’ Mr Bryant said.
“Our key partners are now on board, and the first works are due to commence shortly,” he said.
Watpac Limited was awarded a contract for $325 million by Australian Unity to deliver a number of projects as part of the redevelopment, with activities to commence on site in March.
Watpac’s initial scope of work includes the relocation of existing site services and decommissioning of redundant services before it commences construction of the new Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre (SRACC building) for Metro North Hospital and Health Service. The building will provide 35,157 square metres of facilities and feature a Sky Bridge Link to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.