Council backs Mater hospital redevelopment plans

Date published: 24 January 2017

Townsville has gone a long way towards cementing its place as a health hub for Northern Australia with preliminary approval for a 30 year redevelopment of the Mater Hospital.

Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said the redevelopment was a huge investment that would establish the Fulham Rd medical strip as the foremost private health precinct north of Brisbane.

“The Mater’s masterplan is a far sighted commitment to high quality health care services for our communities here in Townsville and throughout the north and north west,” Cr Hill said.

“Today’s approval for the Master Plan and Plan of Development follows considerable work the council has done with the Mater Health Services North Queensland to facilitate the development, and address early potential impacts on the local area.

“The Fulham Rd Medical Precinct and in particular the Mater site has long been earmarked for further development as Townsville’s specialised centre for private acute medical services and this was put forward to the community and adopted in the City Plan in 2014.

“Addressing local impacts is an important part of the planning process. Council’s conditions require comprehensive plans for the short and long term provisions for parking, traffic management and transport arrangements during the construction phases and when the redevelopment is completed.”

The Master Plan includes four stages of development of the Fulham Rd site which the Mater Hospital has occupied since 1962.

Key elements of the plan include new three, four and six storey buildings, relocation of the main entry off Lothair Street, additional medical suites for specialists, six level car park, new surgical facilities and maternity ward, new ambulance services, demolition and refurbishment of existing buildings, new chapel, a landscaped “green heart”, and overall increase to 369 hospital beds.

Major road works are planned for Fulham Rd to manage the increase traffic flows the redevelopment will generate to and from the hospital precinct.

Traffic upgrades will include a signalised pedestrian crossing on Fulham Rd, a new roundabout at the Fulham Rd/Diprose St intersection, dedicated turning lanes for traffic exiting and entering Park St, and upgrades on Diprose St and at the Diprose St/Lothair St intersection.

Today’s council decision clears the way for the Mater to lodge development applications for the various stages of development in sequence and in accordance with the approved Master Plan.