Hervey Bay Hospital in the Australian state of Queensland is set to receive a new acute mental health inpatient unit.

Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath announced that the construction works will begin this week.

The project also marks the beginning of a more than A$39.6m ($29.07m) investment that seeks to double the mental health bed capacity on the Fraser Coast area.

Minister Yvette D’Ath said: “This new 22-bed unit marks an important expansion of local mental health services and will also be the base of operations for the Community Acute Care Team.

“It will enable more timely access for consumers and help to divert mental health presentations away from the emergency department.”

Woollam Constructions was selected as the main construction contractor for the project, following the completion of the mental health unit’s detailed design works.

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The unit will be developed at the site next to the new emergency department, facing Urraween Road.

The design of the building was finalised following feedback from consumers, clinicians and service partners.

Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said: “For the first time, there will be mental health inpatient capacity at Hervey Bay, and that’s great news for the local community.

“The inpatient unit will also mean more jobs for the Fraser Coast, with an estimated 115 construction-related jobs created during the build and up to 30 additional ongoing health-related roles once in the region.”