Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Call for local community input as Canberra Hospital is expanded

November 22, 2019

As enabling works commence for the new state-of-the-art emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility at Canberra Hospital, the ACT Government invites nominations from community members interested in helping to shape the project’s planning, design and construction.

A Community Reference Group will be established to enable the local community to have its voice heard throughout the planning and development of the SPIRE Project. This will be an important mechanism for the community to provide comment and feedback, while also recognising that ongoing engagement with the broader community will be critical.

“We know there are a range of issues that are particularly important to the local community, including, safety and traffic arrangements and the way the building looks and feels. This group will enable the SPIRE Project team to work directly with the community to receive their valuable input and to address issues as they arise.

“By working together with clinicians, consumers and the local community we can deliver an emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facilityat Canberra Hospital that is technologically advanced, fit-for-purpose and meets the needs of our growing and ageing community,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Works have now begun to prepare the hospital campus site for the installation of a two-storey modular building which will allow hospital administration staff to be relocated from the footprint identified for the SPIRE Project. The modular building is being fabricated offsite and will be ready for installation starting in December.

Enabling works will continue throughout 2020 and will include the relocation of utilities and existing services, ground preparation, and demolition of two buildings. These enabling works will create dozens of jobs for the local workforce.

Meanwhile the design of the SPIRE Project – an almost 40,000sqm facility dedicated to acute and critical healthcare – is being progressed. Currently the design is at concept stage with input from clinicians, consumers and the community being used to inform the building requirements and scope.

“Design of the SPIRE Project is currently at the concept stage, providing opportunity for community input throughout 2020 while the designs are finalised. By starting the enabling works onsite now, we will be ready for construction of the main facility to begin in 2021.

“This is an exciting step forward in the delivery of the SPIRE Project and brings us one step closer to delivering even better healthcare for all Canberrans,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Expressions of interest for the local community reference group close on Thursday 12 December, with the kick-off meeting to be held early-2020.

For more information or to register your interest, visit