Townsville City Council has granted preliminary approval for a 30-year redevelopment of the Mater Hospital, with construction on the $56 million Stage One works expected to begin this year.
Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said the redevelopment was a huge investment that would establish the Fulham Rd, Pimlico 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.
Mater Hospital Planning Committee chair Pat Brady said the approval meant Mater Health Services North Queensland could now complete the detailed planning for Stage One of the development..
Mr Brady said the Mater was hoping to submit the Stage One Plan for approval to council by late March.
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 St, 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.
This week’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.