Sites for the new Bundaberg hospital are being explored with landowners invited to come forward and list their properties to be considered.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the site selection process was a crucial part of the detailed business case for the new hospital, which is now under way.
“The new hospital is an important project for the region,” Mr Miles said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering the best public health services to the Wide Bay community so that the region can thrive. Not only will the finished hospital attract more health workers to the area, there will also be plenty of jobs during its construction.
“This hospital will service the growing community well into the future, so the choice of site is crucial.”
Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board Chair Peta Jamieson said in addition to state-owned land, the site investigation process would consider both privately owned and local government-owned land, which would be assessed using a consistent set of criteria.
“There’s been a huge amount of interest and speculation locally in where a new hospital in Bundaberg could be located, and now the process to assess sites is formally starting,” Ms Jamieson said.
“As we discussed in some recent public information sessions, there is a specific set of criteria that the right block of land for a new hospital needs to satisfy.
“This includes being between 15–20 hectares in size; being in an accessible location within 17km of the CBD, and with good transport links; and having strong flood protection.
“A new hospital would serve the Bundaberg community and Wide Bay region for decades, so it’s important we find the right site to help us best serve the community’s health needs well into the future.”
WBHHS and Building Queensland’s more detailed site criteria, associated conditions and lodgement requirements are included in the Expression of Interest document.
Ms Jamieson said once all the expressions of interest had been received, the Project Steering Committee would consider all the options in conjunction with specialist property and technical consultants, and would then make a recommendation to the State Government.
“It is expected that a decision on the new site will be made by early 2020, but we still have a few more steps in the decision-making process to go,” she said.
The detailed business case is being led by Building Queensland in partnership with Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.