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Coburg health and community services precinct gets go-ahead

08 Dec 2021

Coburg will be home to a new health and community services precinct by 2025, providing much needed health services to the community and creating up to 1,000 local jobs.

Following a community consultation process that saw 73% of submitters support the sale of land to create a health and community services precinct, Merri-bek Council resolved to sell the land to Coburg Health Hub, who will deliver the precinct in partnership with a not-for-profit superannuation fund.

The vacant 14,500 square metre site on the corner of Bell Street and Pentridge Boulevard has long been designated as a future health hub intended to support local jobs, and the Coburg Health Hub project has met rigorous requirements.

Moreland Mayor Councillor Mark Riley said Council’s decision at the December meeting reflected the feedback it received from the community during consultation in August and September 2021, as well as the growing need for local services.

“The community strongly supported the proposal for a health precinct for Coburg,” said Cr Riley.

“We know that we have a shortfall in local health services, including GPs, allied health, mental health and aged care and this new precinct responds very directly to that. We also know that lots of Merri-bek residents work in the health and social care sectors, so it will be great for our community members to have new jobs close to home.

“We also heard from the community how passionate they are about preserving our heritage, in particular the bluestone cottage that sits on the parcel of land originally proposed to be sold,” Cr Riley said.

“The heritage-protected bluestone cottage was always to remain protected in the proposal, but our community felt strongly that Council should retain ownership of the cottage.”

Council resolved to start a subdivision process to remove the bluestone cottage complex from the sale of land and to begin the process of renewing the Coburg Historical Society’s lease.

Cr Riley explained: “Not only will we keep ownership of the bluestone cottage complex, the creation of the health precinct allows us to refurbish it, rebuild the annex and create a new historic garden around the cottage.

“This work will be done by Coburg Health Hub alongside the health precinct delivery, to Council’s scope of works with the oversight of the Coburg Historical Society, and without impacting Council’s Capital Works Plan.”

The Coburg health and community services precinct will see a mix of not-for-profit and private providers including community health services, aged care services, a bulk billed medical clinic, a childcare and early learning centre, a short stay hospital and a mental health facility. Over half of the services will be delivered by community and not-for-profit providers on long term leases.

Additionally, the precinct will create a new high quality publicly accessible plaza, $160 million of direct investment in the delivery of the health precinct, and around $300 million of projected benefit to the local Merri-bek economy.