The new Shellharbour Hospital project in Australia, a significant healthcare infrastructure investment exceeding A$700m ($456.59m), is progressing smoothly with site preparation works nearing completion.

Australian Health Minister Ryan Park and Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson visited the site to inspect the developments.

The project, which encompasses the construction of the new hospital and integrated services, has secured a substantial investment from the New South Wales (NSW) Government, contributing A$570.6m, including A$23.3m for a new car park.

The Australian Government contributed A$128m towards the project.

The facility aims to enhance healthcare services in the region with an improved emergency department and enhanced surgical capacity.

Other services to be offered at the site will comprise rehabilitation and aged care, acute medical, mental health, new drug and alcohol unit, renal dialysis, outpatients care.

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Car parking and improved public transport links are also part of the facility.

Hutchinson Builders, tasked with the initial works of the project in 2023, has been preparing the site for the main construction phase.

The State Significant Development Application for the hospital was submitted in September 2023.

On receiving planning approval, the main works contract is anticipated to be awarded by mid-year, with construction commencing shortly thereafter.

The expected completion of the hospital is in 2027.

In addition to the new Shellharbour Hospital, the project included refurbishments which were completed at Wollongong Hospital and Bulli Hospital.

These sites will be readied to provide enhanced rehabilitation and inpatient services in the Northern Illawarra region.

Furthermore, plans are underway for a new community health centre on a portion of the former Port Kembla Hospital site in Warrawong.

Commenting on the project development, Park said: “This brand-new hospital will be wonderful for both the community and the staff who will work here.

“Healthcare staff at the new Shellharbour Hospital will benefit from a broad range of measures the NSW Government is rolling out designed to strengthen the state’s health workforce, including safe staffing levels for nurses and midwives and improved salary packaging.

“I’m proud to be delivering major workforce reform so frontline healthcare workers are given the support they need to continue to deliver safe, high-quality care to patients.”