Bendigo Hospital project: Exemplar consortia named as preferred bidder

An artist impression of the Mercy Street entrance.

An artist impression of the Mercy Street entrance.

EXEMPLAR consortia featuring Lend Lease has been named as the successful tender for the $630 million Bendigo Hospital project.

Lend Lease, which has been dogged by controversy after being banned from government contracts late last year, outbid the Theiss-backed Intecare.

Premier Denis Napthine and Victorian Health Minister David Davis named Exemplar as the preferred bidder today in Bendigo.

"This is a significant milestone for one of the largest regional healthcare projects in Australia," Premier Napthine said.

In what has been described as outstanding and world-class facility, construction is expected to begin in the coming months with the state government sticking by its projected completion date of 2016.

The facility will feature:

- a new hospital built on one site at Barnard Street;

- 372 new beds;

- 10 operating theatres;

- an integrated cancer centre;

- a mental health unit;

- a helipad to be built on top of a new multi-storey car park at the Lucan Street site with a bridge linking the car park to the main hospital. 

"Our $630 million commitment is unparalleled and will ensure the communities of Bendigo and the north west have access to top-notch health care and specialist services," Dr Napthine said.

“This project will generate more than 770 jobs and deliver enormous  flow-on benefits for the community."

Bendigo Health CEO John Mulder said he was blown away by the Exemplar consortium's proposal for the new hospital.

"It's fantastic news for Bendigo, it's fantastic news for the Bendigo community and it's wonderful news for the whole Loddon Mallee region," he said.

"We set out 18 months ago with very high expectations. We travelled the world to look for our definition of world class, an outstanding solution for our community, and we had set some particularly high standards.

"We were hopeful that we'd achieve those outcomes but in the proposal in front of us now from Exemplar we've exceeded our expectations.

"It's absolutely stunning and, when the Bendigo community sees some of the photographs in detail, I'm sure they can only be particularly excited about this fantastic new facility.

"It will be Australia's first world class regional health service."

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Health Minister David Davis said the state government had delivered its election promise and more. He said the project was also set to bring to Bendigo:

- a childcare and wellness centre;

- 128 serviced apartments and 15 apartments for short stay accommodation;

 - new kitchen, supply and linen handling facility within the new hospital;

 - 180 seat conference facility;

 - a large atrium as the entrance with retail, cafes and multiple internal courtyards;

 - enhanced landscaping across the entire hospital precinct;

 - refurbishment and re-use of some heritage buildings; and

 - the latest integrated technology nurse call system.

The announcement comes as a court challenge by Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union alleging the Victorian government breached the Fair Work Act by banning or threatening to band Lend Lease from the project finished last week. An outcome is expected next week. 

Gallery: New Bendigo Hospital artist impressions

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