The Liberal Government is moving quickly to resume work at the Royal Hobart Hospital after we made the sensible and prudent decision to proceed with a better, safer and more affordable Royal Hobart redevelopment.
We are wasting no time getting on with the redevelopment. The redevelopment project team including the managing contractor, architects and engineers, held its first meeting yesterday morning to map out the recommencement of the project, with critical works expected to start in February next year.
Plans are being progressed to engage sub-contractors to progress refurbishments for the decanting plan.
The reworked redevelopment includes the addition of a critically important helipad, a temporary structure to facilitate the new on-site decanting plan, and a new hyperbaric chamber.
Managing Contractor John Holland and Fairbrother Joint Venture has already signed a new contract which enables the project to be delivered under the new specifications, without adding to the estimated $70 million cost blowout incurred by the previous Labor-Green Government.
There is no doubt that the revised project that we are proceeding with will deliver Tasmania a state of the art health facility that will help reduce surgery wait times and improve health outcomes.
Almost as importantly though, the economic benefit of this project will start to flow almost immediately, with sub-contractors being engaged to begin works in early 2015.
The $657 million project (of which $154 million has already been spent), will create more than 4,000 jobs in Tasmania and generate $1.6 billion in economic activity.
The recommencement of the project gives important certainty to the contractor, the construction industry, doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital and the Tasmanian community.
This has been made possible by the decisive action of the Liberal Government and the Rescue Taskforce.
We now have a project that all Tasmanians can have confidence in, can be delivered safely, and will improve health outcomes in Tasmania without breaking the bank.