Australia’s Victorian Government has unveiled plans to build a new Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Sunshine that will involve an investment of $200m.

The new hospital is being named after the late premier Joan Kirner AC, who was the first female premier of Victoria.

Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said: "The Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital will deliver vital services to families in Melbourne’s west, a community Joan truly loved."

"This hospital will specialise in maternity and paediatric services, which is a fitting tribute to a woman who fought for women and children her whole life."

The facility has been designed to meet the growing needs of Melbourne’s west, which is having significant growth with the number of births expected to exceed 7,000 per year by 2026.

Joan Kirner hospital will be a multi-storey facility that features 20 maternity delivery rooms, 237 beds, 39 special care nursery cots, four theatres and additional clinics.

The government opened expressions of interest to select a builder for the new hospital. Construction on the facility is expected to begin in late 2016.

Victoria Health Minister Jill Hennessy said: "I am proud that this new hospital will be named after my friend, Joan, who fought strongly and passionately for families in Melbourne’s west."

"This hospital will specialise in maternity and paediatric services, which is a fitting tribute to a woman who fought for women and children her whole life."

In June this year, the Victorian Government announced plans to construct a new specialist heart hospital at Monash University in Clayton to expand cardiovascular care, research and training.