Northern NSW Local Health District (NNLHD) board member Carolyn Byrne, Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president and NNLHD deputy chair Mark Humphries, Health Infrastructure Director Peter Lawless and NNLHD community engagement manager Jed May.
Northern NSW Local Health District (NNLHD) board member Carolyn Byrne, Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president and NNLHD deputy chair Mark Humphries, Health Infrastructure Director Peter Lawless and NNLHD community engagement manager Jed May. Rick Koenig

New hospital is 'one third' completed - Health NSW

HEALTH Infrastructure says it is one-third of its way into delivering the new $534 million Tweed Valley Hospital.

Director Peter Lawless said at a Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, which had the theme 'how to build a hospital', it was going through the final approval processes of the project's stage one development application.

"Once that's approved, we'll start the early works on the site by the middle of the year and then we'll lodge our stage two state significant development application, which is the detail around the hospital building itself," he said.

Mr Lawless said the initial hospital build would be double the size of the Tweed Heads Hospital at 65,000 square metres, with the site having the capacity to expand to around 150,000 square metres.

"What that does is open up a whole range of opportunities around education, training and research, childcare suites, accommodation for students, staff and workers, those kinds of opportunities," he said.

"By the middle of the year we'll begin seeing bulk earthworks on the site which is really making the foundations of the hospital building, in early 2020 we'll see the tower cranes go up and the main works really kick off."

He said the facades and landscaping would be completed by the end of 2021 and in late 2022 the hospital would be complete and ready to be handed over to the Northern NSW Local Health District.

 

The concept design of the new $534m Tweed Valley Hospital.
The concept design of the new $534m Tweed Valley Hospital. Contributed

Mr Lawless said major construction company Lendlease would be tasked with maximising local industry participation in the project which he described as "a big challenge" due to the location right next to the Queensland border where there is "significant competition".

He said the project would bring around $200 million in revenue to the region while 5000 residents would no longer need to travel out of the region for life saving healthcare.

"A key objective is to give the local businesses the best possible chance of competing and winning work on the project," he said.

"A project of this scale also helps local businesses even if they're not working directly on the project, in terms of house building and those kinds of trades, there will be an increase in demand but also takes other people out of the market to work on this project, reducing their competition."

Mr Lawless said around 50 per cent of tenders so far had been issued to Northern NSW contractors but hoped that figure would increase "significantly" as the project progresses.

During question time, Mr Lawless said the feasibility of a multi-storey carpark on the site would be looked at during stage two of the project's planning application.

"Inevitably, it will need more parking as part of expansion areas for different parts of the hospital campus including a multi-deck carpark and car parking under future buildings," he said.

Mr Lawless was also asked how many storey's the hospital would have.

"Essentially the design has the ground level plus five, but if you count up the basement, lower ground and helipad, you have up to nine," he said.

When asked who would pay for the necessary road upgrades around the hospital, Mr Lawless said it would be paid for by the project.

Kingscliff Chamber of Commerce president Mark Humphries said the chamber was excited about the benefits of the new hospital.

"We're excited economically that all the indicators now are going to set the scene for great employment, business and development in our area, so it's a very positive message," he said.

"We are excited number one that we have a resolution, number two that we're going forward, and number three it's not being halted, it's continuing and in 2022 we'll have a new hospital."