At its meeting on 11 August 2021, Council decided to start the process to consider the sale of land next to the Coburg Civic Centre to create a new health and community services hub for Coburg. You can read our Council report for the proposed Coburg health precinct, Bell St (PDF) to find out more about this decision. You can also read our Proposed Coburg Health and Community Services Precinct information (PDF) for more detailed information on the project.
The Coburg health and community services precinct would bring a range of services together, across a campus spanning more than 15,000m2 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.
What happens next?
Council will consider the report before they make their final decision on whether or not to sell the land on 8 December 2021. The agenda for this meeting and all papers (including the report on the health precinct proposal) can now be viewed on our Next Council meeting agenda page.
Community consultation and engagement
At its 11 August meeting Council (Item 7.3) resolved to begin the statutory consultation process for the sale of land pursuant to section 114 of the Local Government Act 2020 and section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989. An engagement program was conducted over 5 weeks, from 16 August to 18 September 2021. A statutory notice detailing the proposed sale of land was published in The Age on 21 September 2021.
Due to the importance of the project, the length of the planning process for the precinct, and the lockdown restrictions that Melbourne was experiencing at the point of the consultation, Council undertook a number of activities over and above what was required through the statutory process or Council’s Engagement Policy. The result of this extra activity was a very broad reach (in the tens of thousands) and a high response rate.
You can find out more about the engagement program for this project on our Conversations Moreland website. You can also get more detailed information on the project from our Proposed Coburg Health and Community Services Precinct information (PDF).
More information about the Coburg Health precinct
The consultation process for this project took place in August and September 2021. Interested members of the community presented their views at a Hearing of Submissions, a public meeting of councillors, on 6 October.
Council will make a final decision on the sale of the land toward the end of 2021. Should Council decide to sell the land, construction is estimated to begin in 2023, subject to the granting of a planning permit.
The decision was made to create a health precinct in Coburg in the Colours of Coburg Framework, which Council adopted in 2010 following extensive community consultation. This framework sets out the vision for the delivery of a health precinct on the site.
The community was consulted about this project.
The Council has made several attempts over the past decade to realise the vision from the 2010 Colours of Coburg Place Framework which you can read about in our Proposed Coburg Health and Community Services Precinct information (PDF).
No rate revenue rises would be needed to fund this project.
Council can afford this project for the following reasons:
- the delivery of the health precinct would be funded by Coburg Health Hub
- any money raised through selling the land for this purpose would be put back into other Council activities, projects, and/or facilities
Council would not be able to deliver this project on its own because of the type and scale of the precinct which will involve well over $100m of upfront investment. There are also complex partnership arrangements with health providers to consider which will be more easily managed alongside a third party in the industry.
Since setting the strategic vision for a health precinct for the community in 2010, Council has worked to find a suitable partner like Coburg Health Hub who could deliver this outcome for the community.
We cannot build a public hospital instead of a private hospital because the State Government has consistently advised Council that the provision of a public hospital within Moreland cannot be supported, and they do not plan to build one.
CHH advise that their proposal would see a mix of public health and community services, alongside private health services.
The current option being considered by Council is to either proceed with this proposal or not to proceed.
The Bluestone Cottage and the separate kitchen and laundry building are heritage listed and it is and will remain protected by the strong heritage protection 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 the immediate surrounding land with a view for the Coburg Historical Society remaining as its custodians into the future.
Coburg Health Hub would be required to provide adequate public car parking on site for all new facilities they deliver.
Council would also require them to provide some of the staff car parking that would otherwise be lost.
It is intended that any changes to car parking arrangements would prioritise community members using the Town Hall, and particularly those with mobility issues, to ensure they are not disadvantaged.
Whilst there would inevitably be new visitors to the area if the health precinct goes ahead, the impacts to individual streets would not be understood until the design stage of the project.
During the design stage, Coburg Health Hub would be required to undertake detailed traffic management plans to show how this would be managed effectively. This is the process with any large project.
If we do nothing for this project then this particular proposal from CHH would not go ahead.
Council could consider future opportunities for uses of the site, but these would take a long time to develop and realise.
More information, and the Council report setting out the proposal can be found in the news article about the proposed health precinct.
Information is also available on our Conversations Moreland website. You can also read our Proposed Coburg Health and Community Services Precinct information (PDF)to find out more.