The Australian Government has opened the A$200m Mater redevelopment project to improve healthcare access to residents of the Hunter region and northern New South Wales (NSW).

It is one of the first health projects in NSW to be developed under a public-private partnership, the government said.

The project includes an A$18m expansion of cancer radiation therapy facilities and a new clinical services building including wards and operating theatres.

In addition, it will feature a new emergency department, an intensive care unit and a 100-bed mental health centre worth A$46m for acute inpatient care.

The centre will have ten additional acute beds and four psychiatric emergency care centre treatment spaces where emergency cases can be analysed and treated, the government said.

The radiotherapy facility’s expansion, including additional cancer treatment machines at Calvary Mater Newcastle, will make it the largest radiation oncology service in NSW.