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[COM] New Royal Adelaide Hospital | $2.1b

Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 2:23 am
by crawf
$1.5bn plan to build a new RAH

May 24, 2007 02:15am
Article from: The Advertiser

A $1.5 BILLION plan to relocate the Royal Adelaide Hospital complex to the Adelaide railyards area is being considered by the State Government.

The Advertiser understands the plan involves building a new hospital complex west of the Morphett St Bridge, between the Old Adelaide Gaol and the Convention Centre.

Senior health sources have told The Advertiser they understand the plan may be a key part of the State Budget, to be handed down by Treasurer Kevin Foley on June 7.

Sources also said the proposal had been before State Cabinet. "We're told it has been to Cabinet and signed off on but none of us knows the details," one source said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Foley said last night: "Details of the Budget will be revealed on June 7, when the Budget is handed down."

The relocation is expected to include the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science and Adelaide University Medical School.

Given the high cost of such a huge undertaking, options to pay for it will be a key part of Budget submissions.

Relocating the hospital complex likely would involve a public-private partnership, which uses private sector investment.

This is the model the Government is using for its $216 million so-called "super schools" proposal and $517 million program to build four prison facilities in the state.

The RAH-complex relocation likely would involve commercial development, such as cafes and shops, to lure private investors.

Much of the planning for the proposed relocation is understood to have been driven by Health Department statewide services strategy executive director, David Panter.

Dr Panter is a former chief executive of the Central Northern Adelaide Health Service.

Yesterday, he referred all questions about the proposal to the Health Department's media unit.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister John Hill, who was asked in writing last night by The Advertiser if the minister "could confirm or deny" such a proposal was being considered, declined to comment.

She referred The Advertiser back to the comment from Mr Foley's office that details of the Budget will be revealed on June 7.

Momentum has been growing for the railyards site to be used for a major development.

Influential property industry leader Don Crouch, of Knight Frank, last November said the site was a vast area of land with access to a rundown area of the River Torrens.

"No other capital city in Australia has such a large area of land so close to the city that has not been developed," he said.

Adelaide Convention Centre chief executive Alec Gilbert proposed the construction of a building next to the Morphett St bridge. A consortium also proposed a $200 million hotel, casino and apartment complex.

If the latest proposal involving the RAH is given the green light by Cabinet, it is not known what would happen to the present hospital site but it could be reclaimed as parklands.

That would likely be a popular political move given the controversy over the Victoria Park upgrade.

The relocation also would tie in with the tramline extension, from Victoria Square to the city's West End.

The Government consistently has said health is one of its key spending priorities.

Mr Foley in March said that if possible, he would like to "skew the Budget into spending more on capital", or infrastructure, rather than funding services and programs.

Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith yesterday said the public needed to know the details of any plans. "If they are planning to do what I think they are, which is build right across the train line to connect up with the Torrens, I'm not sure if a hospital or medical complex is the right development for the site," he said.

"It is planning in secret instead of by consultation. If the cost is $1.5 billion, there is no doubt this will be the centrepiece of the State Budget. I just hope it is not an attempt by Mike Rann to build a Taj Mahal as a monument to himself under the guise of investing in health."

Wow, I thought this would never happen (especially after the State Government spent money on adding a new wing). But I hope they do, the RAH is such a disgrace and very outdated, plus it will fill that ugly eyesore on North Terrace aswell as improving the Western North Terrace streetscape.

As for the RAH site, I think it would be a perfect place for a precinct filled with student apartments, foreign university campus, cafes, restaurants, shops, bars, offices etc... or it could be become apart of the Botanic Gardens (nearly doubling the size of the existing one). Though this is going to one massive project (RAH is a huge hospital) plus its going to bring much bulk into that part of the CBD :D

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Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 3:13 am
by bva
that seems like a massive waste??
is the RAH bursting at the seams?


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:11 am
by Norman
They should build that stadium there instead :P


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:15 am
by mooshie
What a great idea to get a lot of people to the city centre, the core of public transport and the riverbank area.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 8:54 am
by Ben
I spent a week in the RAH last week and it was one of the worst weeks of my life. it is a terrible depressing place to be and is so old, tired and outdated. the design is terrible and for example the ground floor is actually known as level 2 and is just ridiculously confusing. This is a great idea but i'm not sure about the location. If they re built it in stages in it's current location and use the railway yards for something more tourism related would be better.

And as for the stadium near the CBD why has the government not considered Santos Stadium. Perfect location if you ask me and with all the south road upgrades and bakewell underpass it will improve the accesability of it too.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:00 am
by stelaras
whilst i agree with the fact that the RAH is getting too big for its present location, im not entirely sure that recreating it over the railyards is a good solution either.

That land to me should contain some kind of entertainment precinct linking it to the exhibitioon/convention building etc etc....

Ireally cant see how a hospital plus shops plus cafe's will attract anyone other than those visiting loved ones that are at hospital...


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:39 am
by Howie
I work in the RAH, and the place is a buzz with gossip this morning. The reaction to the news over here is all positive so far.

The facilities at the RAH are pretty run down, e.g. our building is one of the central buildings of the facility and it has never had a properly working air-conditioning system, the elevators get stuck about once a week (some of the oldest elevators in SA are here), the main escalator is constantly being serviced, many of the offices were ex-nursing halls completely unsuitable for today's uses, some of the offices have NO windows (we call it the room without a view), the wiring is a mess in the roofspace, the fire escape is currently a potential death trap (once you go in, there's no coming back out), and i'm sure other departments around the place have their own issues. IMVS, and the Uni are bursting at the seems - some of these units have been ordered not to hire anymore staff until accommodation issues can be sorted out.

I'd really like to see a cost comparison, of updating our dilapidated buildings versus building a new complex and selling off this land. Even if this doesn't go ahead now - in ten years time it'll reach breaking point anyway - so in my opinion, deal with the problem now or face having overcrowding and worsening health services here at the RAH.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:46 am
by Howie
champsman wrote:I can't see a commercial/hospital combination working,
Currently as it stands, the RAH has one private gym, Revive on 5 (the cafe), a hairdresser, a BankSA branch, one kiosk, a chapel, a florist.

At a melbourne hospital, I saw a mcdonalds, starbucks and a row of shops, all pretty much packed out.

I can see how there would be financial incentives for commercial investors to get in here. The Hospital employs thousands of staff members and their patients, it's a virtual suburb in a highly dense location.

As for construction work, PPP's have been successfully used for the construction of the first and second stages of the recent RAH redevelopment. I believe this may have given the state government more confidence in public private partnerships during construction work.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:05 am
by bmw boy
hmm, i agree with the people who think thi area hould be developed a tourim/port/recreational facility. not ure it right right place for a hopital.

As for The McDonald's in the melbourne hospital.... i can't ee that 1 happening here in a new hospital with all the focus on health and obesity... but yes i realie you're only using it as an example

any ideas for other poible locations??


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:10 am
by Howie
bmw boy wrote:As for The McDonald's in the melbourne hospital.... i can't ee that 1 happening here in a new hospital with all the focus on health and obesity... but yes i realie you're only using it as an example
I thought the same thing. I can't remember the name of the hospital, but it's the one you see going to tullamarine airport from the cbd. It was suppose to be a childrens hospital also :shock:

Not sure where else could be a possible location for a new RAH without causing too much disruption to residents and other businesses - the current RAH has a massive footprint. Guess this just shows how limited land in the CBD actually is. Guess it could be moved to Mile end - but that wouldn't go down well with the public.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:31 am
by urban
Maybe it should go to keswick so the people who freeze to death (or die of boredom) waiting for a taxi at the bus station have quick access to medical treatment.

Other perimeter sites include Clipsal.

If they do build it above the train lines I hope they make a serious effort to provide active frontages to North Tce, Morphett St and the Torrens.

I personally would have preferred a cultural/tourism use for this site but it would give good reason to extend the tram into north western suburbs.

Perhaps UniSA City East could move in to the old RAH buildings and Adelaide University into City East. Or it could become home to the new universities Rann is trying to attract to the state.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:32 am
by shuza
No no no no! The railyards is to be kept as a entertainment dvelopment site, either for the location of a new stadium or entertainment centre as well as new buildings and meeting square to lure tourists.


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 12:34 pm
by Matt
This is possibly the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard from the Rann Government if this is true. (and I'm a Labor voter).

A hospital? Over the railyards, fronting onto the Torrens?
Am I reading correctly?

You have got to be joking.

The space along the Torrens is one of the most picturesque spots in the city, with massive potential for entertainment and tourism, and they're going to stick a HOSPITAL there?
I was dumbfounded when I heard this this morning.

So much for the mooted entertainment/sporting/residential precinct.

What a waste.
Fingers crossed this doesn't go ahead.

I'm all for spending whatever billion on building a new hospital, but for gods sake, not there!


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:05 pm
by urban
The more I think about this the more it seems like an extraordinary waste of a site with so much tourism potential and importance.

Trying hard to think of a city or near city location that might work.

My list and the pitfalls so far:
- Keswick - desolate location but well connected to transport, might actually help train station taxi situation;
- Clipsal Site - too close to Lyell Mac, draws activity out of city centre;
- Balfours - too late but would have added some vibrancy to the area;
- Currie St (former bus depot) - might be too small (2000m2?) but good chance for new high rise;

The only alternative would seem to be to compulsorily acquire some under-utilised land (probably not legal) such as the land surrounded by Grote, Morphett, Franklin and Byron Pl?

Any other ideas anyone?


Posted: Thu May 24, 2007 1:17 pm
by Howie
In my opinion, the RAH needs to be in walking distance of the community it serves the most. So that would rule out Keswick, and Clipsal sites.

Balfours as you say is too late, and the site is too small. And currie street, you'd probably be able to get just the IMVS building on that site - that'd be about it.

Not only that, you'd have to get a helipad onto the site, so further into the CBD where it is a no-fly zone would make that impossible. City fringe really is the only solution if this is to go ahead.