Australia’s Queensland Government has announced the start of construction of the Bundaberg Hospital.

The hospital aims to bolster healthcare services in the Wide Bay region and is being developed with an A$1.2bn ($801.9m) investment.

Following the completion of early works last year, the project has moved into the design and enabling works phase in preparation for major construction activities.

Bundaberg Hospital is being developed to accommodate more than 400 beds, an expanded emergency department, 320 overnight beds, additional operating theatres, and other diagnostic and outpatient services.

The facility will also feature dedicated spaces for training, teaching and research.

Its development will add 121 beds to the Wide Bay region and is expected to create around 2,887 local jobs.

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The hospital’s construction is projected to be complete by the end of 2027, subject to favourable weather and building conditions.

CPB Contractors, a subsidiary of CIMIC Group, has been tasked with carrying out the early works, which include earthworks, installing in-ground services, piling and roadworks.

The Bundaberg Hospital project is part of the Queensland government’s A$14bn Health Big Build scheme, which is part of the Big Build initiative.

Concept master planning is also in progress for a surrounding health and education precinct to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding community and stimulate the local economy.

Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said: “We expect the Wide Bay population to grow by almost 50,000 by 2046 ‒ that’s why our government is building the hospital today that the community will need in the future.

“And once this new modern hospital is complete, it will help us to attract and retain more skilled health workers to the region.

“A new health and education precinct means long-term health and economic benefits for thousands of families who call Wide Bay home.”