Four Ipswich City Council buildings and other land have been purchased by West Moreton Health for $20.65 million in an important milestone as the Ipswich Health Precinct progresses.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the purchase of the South Street buildings and other properties close to Ipswich Hospital was the next step in rolling out the master-planned precinct.
“The Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $146.3 million over five years for Stage 1 of the master plan to expand Ipswich Hospital and related health services into an all-encompassing precinct to meet the needs of the fast-growing region,” Ms D'Ath said.
“This includes $2 million for the development of a business case to be finalised in 2021 for facilities and services in one convenient CBD location.
“The Ipswich Health Precinct will cater for a projected doubling of the West Moreton population to 587,000 by 2036.”
The South Street buildings are the WG Hayden Humanities Centre, the Hayden Centre and the Ipswich Global Information Centre, which houses the former public library and the Administration Building.
The other properties are at 3 Foote Lane and 82 Limestone Street.
The properties will be handed over to West Moreton Health in September 2021.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard welcomed the purchase, saying the Ipswich Health Precinct would deliver world-class healthcare closer to home for the Ipswich region.
“Delivering the master-planned Ipswich Health Precinct has been a top priority for the Palaszczuk Government because it means locals will have improved access to top-quality healthcare and create local jobs along the way," Ms Howard said.
Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the purchase built on a huge amount of work already underway.
“Early works for Stage 1 are nearing completion for the $91 million 50-bed Acute Mental Health Unit at the Ipswich Hospital alongside a new $25 million 26-bed ward and additional outpatient areas,” Ms Mullen said.
“This is on top of the state-of-the-art MRI suite which opened ahead of schedule in December 2019.”
Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said in addition to the Stage 1 funding, the Palaszczuk Government had committed a further $22 million to Ipswich Hospital.
“The additional $22 million is a further significant investment by the Palaszczuk Government that includes $11 million for an Emergency Department expansion with paediatric treatment spaces and a dedicated mental health area, $9.3 million for an obstetric theatre and $1.7 million to expand capacity for renal dialysis and nephrology services," Mr McCallum said.
Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said the culmination of the projects underway as part of the master plan meant more people in the region would be able to receive care closer to home.
“This precinct has already begun to transform the way that healthcare is delivered for our region, and importantly, has supported hundreds of local jobs in the construction phase," Mr Madden said.
West Moreton Hospital and Health Board Chair Michael Willis thanked the Queensland Government for its support for local healthcare and said the purchase would bring to fruition a long-held plan to develop an all-encompassing Ipswich Health Precinct.
“This will meet a forecast doubling of demand for health services in line with population growth over the next 15 years,” Mr Willis said.