The Government of Queensland has announced plans to invest $831m (A$1.2bn) to build a new hospital in Bundaberg.

The new Bundaberg Hospital will add 121 beds and ensures better access to health care for locals when and where they need it.

Slated to open in the second half of 2027, the hospital is expected to ease pressure on the Wide Bay health service.

During the construction phase, the project is expected to create nearly 2,887 jobs.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board (WBHHB) chair Peta Jamieson said: “It provides an opportunity for significant expansion to healthcare services capacity and capability within the region.

“It will also provide a substantial boost to the local economy, not only with the provision of construction jobs and additional clinical and support services once the new hospital is open, but also broader flow-on economic benefits that are delivered to the entire region.”

Planning of the new hospital is currently underway, with early works set to commence off-site by the end of this year.

Work on-site is scheduled to begin early next year.

In a separate development, the government has also announced $367.1m (A$530m) investment on a major expansion of the Townsville University Hospital.

The expansion project will deliver approximately 143 extra beds to the region by 2026, to tackle the growing demand for health services throughout the region and across the entire State.

The project will include additional day-procedure spaces, extra beds for rehabilitation and surgical patients as well as the relocation of the helicopter landing pad to the roof, which will free up space for a new clinical building.