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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 November 2018) . . Page.. 4667 ..

As members are aware, ACT Labor had a significant health policy package during the last election. A key component was the SPIRE project, the surgical procedures, interventional radiology and emergency centre. The SPIRE project, an expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, and planning for expanded hospital facilities in Canberra’s north are major ACT Labor commitments and go to the very heart of our plans to build new hospital infrastructure and to future-proof our public health system for the long-term benefit of Canberrans.

Indeed, the government has committed to investing approximately $500 million to build the SPIRE centre at the Canberra Hospital campus. SPIRE will increase the capacity of the ACT’s theatres, future-proof for future technological innovations, have expanded capacity to offer day surgery, as well as meeting the increasing demand for elective and emergency surgery, expand coronary care facilities, provide more in-patient beds and improve diagnostic and imaging facilities—among many of its benefits. Our election commitment did state that SPIRE was planned to open in 2022-23 but noted that this was prior to feasibility planning and design works being undertaken.

In the past two budgets the government has signalled its absolute commitment to deliver SPIRE by committing $433 million for this project, and the community and the Assembly will see in the next ACT budget further expenditure to come in the outyears. Alongside this commitment there is also a firm commitment to ensure such a major project proceeds with careful and detailed planning to deliver our commitment to ensure the success of SPIRE.

Planning and design for SPIRE must be considered carefully, for a range of reasons. But two important ones are: firstly, consideration of both current and future service demand, detailed modelling and understanding of the territory’s health needs, service demand and clinical requirements of the territory-wide public health system, which importantly includes collaboration with Calvary Public Hospital and the importance of the appropriate role delineation between both hospitals; and, secondly, as the hospital campus is an operational site, the most efficient and effective way to continue to deliver existing services while construction is underway.

Both these considerations must be thoroughly and methodically explored, and they have been. These are a critical part of due diligence to ensure appropriate integration with existing services and facilities. This work is already well progressed, and decanting and planning for early works will be the focus for SPIRE for the rest of 2018 through 2019 and into early 2020.

Territory-wide health services planning processes have been key to the government’s ability to carefully plan for the SPIRE project, and this has included careful consideration by the building health services program strategy steering committee. I convened the strategy steering committee to provide advice to me and to the government on the next phase of the building health services program, of which a major feature is the SPIRE project. The strategy steering committee included some of the most senior representatives from ACT Health and what is now Canberra Health Services, other ACT government directorates, our partners at Calvary and the Capital Health Network, to ensure an integrated and strategic approach. This has also given us

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