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Proposed Coburg health and community services precinct

At its meeting on 11 August 2021, Council decided to start the process to consider the sale of vacant land next to the Coburg Civic Centre to create a new health and community services hub for Coburg. Read the Council report.

The Coburg health and community services precinct would bring a range of services together, across a campus spanning more than 15,000 square metres made up of community health services, aged care services, a childcare and early learning centre, a short stay hospital, a bulk billed medical clinic, a mental health rehabilitation facility, as well as publicly accessible open space.

The precinct would also create new local jobs and deliver economic benefits to Coburg.

Planning for a health and community services precinct

Council acquired the land on the corner of Bell Street and Pentridge Boulevard in the 1980s and 1990s with the view to create a new precinct.

The site has long been earmarked as a new health and community services precinct for Coburg.

Council has proactively sought to partner with health service providers for the past decade to realise the vision for a health and community services hub to deliver key services for the Coburg community.

The current proposal, from a company called Coburg Health Hub, meets and exceeds the requirements Council set out for the site and presents an exceptional opportunity for Coburg.

History of the proposed health and community services precinct

The vision for the proposed Coburg health and community services precinct has been in place for over a decade.

Timeline of project from 1980s until current time

The Coburg health and community services precinct evolved through a number of community engagement activities, research projects and requests for qualification (seeking businesses or individuals that would be suitable to submit a proposal to deliver a health precinct).

The Coburg Place Framework (structure plan) provides more background information.

Community benefits of proposed health and community services precinct

The proposed Coburg health and community services precinct would deliver:

  • New health services community services such as residential aged care, aged care support services (such as home care), NDIS services, early learning and childcare, allied health services along with a new hospital, mental health facility and open space.
  • Around 1,000 Local jobs close to home; approximately 350 in the construction phase and over 600 ongoing positions in primary care, aged care, childcare, management, administration and more, at a variety of levels. The health and social services sector is the largest and fastest growing industry in Australia and jobs in the sector offer careers at a variety of levels, particularly for women and those seeking part time hours.
  • Economic benefits for Coburg, delivering over $160 million of direct investment to deliver the health and community services precinct, which is projected to bring around $300 million economic benefit for the wider Coburg economy.

Community involvement in planning for a health and community services precinct

The Moreland community have played a part in the planning for a health and community services precinct in Coburg, with a number of previous engagements over the past decade consistently underscoring community support for a health precinct.

Engagement timeline from left to right from 2010 to 2021

What happens next?

Council has completed a public consultation process to ask the community for their thoughts on the sale of the land for the purpose of delivering the proposed Coburg health and community services precinct. Submissions closed at 5pm Saturday 18 August 2021.

Council will hold a Hearing of Submissions, a public meeting of Councillors, on 7 October 2021. Interested members of the community will be able to present their views at this meeting. 

A report will go back to Council towards the end of 2021 presenting all feedback from the community and stakeholders.

Council will consider the report before they make their final decision on whether or not to sell the land.

Timeline with red star for current place in time, green stars for future council decision and purple stars for future community consultation

Frequently asked questions

Coburg health and community services precinct proposal

    • Itisaproposalfrom a company called Coburg Health Hub (CHH) for acampus-style health hub 
    • Services would include community health services, aged care services, a childcare and early learning centre, a short stay hospital, a bulk billed medical clinic, a mental health rehabilitation facility, as well as publicly accessible open space.
    • The proposed site is on vacant land next to the Coburg Civic Centre on the corner of Bell Street and Pentridge Boulevard.   
    • The demand for health services is high.  
    • The health and community services sectorisAustralia’s largest and fastest growing employer. 
    • The main benefits described inCHH’s proposal are: 
    • New healthandcommunityservices:locallydelivered services such as acute and primary health care, rehabilitation, mentalhealth, childcare, residential aged care, aged care support services (such as homecare), and NDIS services 
    • Benefits to thelocal economy including$160 million of newdirectinvestmenttodeliverthe healthprecinct and$300 million of projected benefit to the local Moreland economy 
    • Around 1,000 jobs in the construction and operational phases of the project 
    • New high quality publicly accessible open space 
    • CHHpredict that their proposal wouldcreate around1,000 jobs.  
    • Around 350 of these would be in the construction phase 
    • Over600ongoing positionswould be created in health and community servicessuch as jobs in primary care, aged care, childcare, management, administration, etc.,at a variety of levels.   
    • The health and social servicessector employs the most Moreland residents.  
    • Jobs in this sector tend to particularlybenefitwomen, and part-timers. 

Project delivery

    • No rate revenue riseswould be needed to fund this project. 
    • Thedelivery of thehealthprecinctwouldbefundedbyCoburg Health Hub. 
    • Any money raised through selling the land for this purpose would be put back into other Council activities, projectsand/or facilities.
    • A precinct of the type and scale, involving well over $100m of upfront investment,and complex partnership arrangements with health providers,is not something that Council would be able to deliveron its own. 
    • Since setting the strategic vision for a health precinctforthe communityin2010,Council hasworkedtofind a suitable partnerwho could deliver this outcome forthe community.
    • Then thisparticularproposalwould not go ahead. 
    • Council can consider future opportunities for uses of the site, but thesewould take a long time to developand realise.
    • The StateGovernmenthas consistently advisedCouncil that provision of a public hospital within Moreland cannot be supported, and they do not plan to build one. 
    • CHHadvisethat their proposal would see a mix of public healthand community services, alongsideprivatehealthservices. 
    • Thecurrentoptionbeing considered by Councilistoeitherproceedwiththisproposal,ornottoproceed.

Community involvement in decision making

    • Yes. TheColours of CoburgPlaceFramework,whichCouncil adopted in2010following extensive communityconsultation, setsoutthevision for the delivery of ahealthprecinct on thesite.  
    • TheCouncilhas made several attempts over the past decade to realise thisvision.<add anchor link>
    • Yes.If Council decides to begin the public process, therewillbe a 28-day consultation period in which the community will be invited tosubmittheir views about selling the land for the purpose of delivering the proposed health and community services precinct. 
    • Interested members of the community would alsobeableto present their views at a Hearing of Submissions, a public meeting of councillors,in October.   All submissionsfrom the communitywouldbe compiledand presented toCouncil,and Council would consider thesebefore they make their final decision.

The Bluestone Cottage and the Coburg Historical Society  

    • The Bluestone Cottage and the separate kitchen and laundry building is heritage listed and, under anyscenario, itis, and will remain, protected by strong heritage protections in Victoria. 
    • The cottage is currently leased by Council to the Coburg Historical Society. 
    • Council is exploring options to retain ownership of the Bluestone Cottage, separate kitchen and immediate surrounding land with a view to the Coburg Historical Society remaining as its custodians into the future.
    • The cottage is, and will remain, protected by the strong heritage protections in Victoria. 
    • Any planstorestorethe cottagewould have to beappropriateand sympatheticto the cottage’simportance and would be subject to strict heritage approvals.
    • If the proposal goes ahead,CHH have committed to the highest possible standards of heritage practice,includingworking closely with theCoburgHistorical Societyandheritage specialistsincluding Heritage Victoria, oninterpreting the heritage value ofboth the cottage and the surrounding site.
  • The discussions to retain the Historical Society on site happened after CHH came to us with their original proposal. Council asked CHH if they would be prepared to commit to retaining the Historical Society, and they agreed to this, after this plan was drawn.

Project timelines

    • Theconsultationprocess will take place inAugust and September 2021. 
    • Interested members of the community will also beable to present their views at a Hearing of Submissions, a public meeting of councillors,on 6 October. 
    • Councilwill make a final decision on the sale of landtowardstheend of 2021. 
    • ShouldCouncil decide to sell the land, construction is estimated to begin in 2023, subject to the granting of a planning permit.
    • IfCouncil decides toproceedwith a public consultation process on the proposed health and community services hub, this phase of consultationwill be for at least 28 days. 
    • Information will be available on Conversations Moreland from the week beginning Monday 16 Augustfor a minimum of 28 days.

Traffic and car parking

    • The site ismostlyused by Council staff for bothformal andinformalparking, as well asa small number of public car parking spaces. 
    • CoburgHealthHubwouldberequiredtoprovideadequatepubliccar parkingon sitefor allnewfacilities they deliver. 
    • Councilwouldalsorequirethemtoprovidesome ofthestaff carparkingthatwouldotherwisebelost.    
    • It is intended thatany changestocarparking arrangementswould prioritise community members using the Town Hall, and particularly those with mobilityissues, toensure they are not disadvantaged.  
    • Whilst there would inevitably be new visitors to the area if the health precinct goes ahead, the impactsto individual streetswould not be understood untilthedesign stage of theproject.  
    • During the designstage,Coburg Health Hub wouldbe requiredtoundertakedetailedtraffic management plansto show howthis would be managed effectively, as is the process with any large project. 

More information

    • Moreinformation, and the Council report setting out the proposal can be found here.   
    • Information willalsobe available onConversations Moreland from the week beginning Monday 16 August for a minimum of 28 days. 
    • Should Council decide tobegin theconsultationprocess, it isalsointended to hold an information drop-in sessionin earlySeptember. Detailswill beshared with thecommunityandprovided on this page when they are available.