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 deliver a new health and community services precinct for Coburg.

The Coburg health and community services precinct would bring a range of services together, across a campus spanning more than 15,000 square metres.

It 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 precinct would also create new local jobs and deliver economic benefits to Coburg. Scroll to the FAQs section of this page to find out more about the proposal.


Project update - 5 November 2021

The item for Council to consider the sale of the site on Bell Street for the purposes of creating a health and community services precinct has been deferred. Council will now consider the report at the 8 December Council meeting.

The will allow Council officers to develop further information on two key matters to inform Council’s decision making:

  • the final amount of car parking required in the health precinct for Council’s future use
  • the costs of refurbishing the bluestone cottage complex

We will place a link to the Council report in the Document Library once it has been published.


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.

The bluestone cottage and the Coburg Historical Society

The bluestone cottage and the separate kitchen and laundry building and the surrounding land are heritage listed. They are and will remain, protected by strong heritage protections.

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. Council intends for the Coburg Historical Society to remain as custodian of the cottage in the future.

Thank you for your submissions!

Between 16 August to 18 September 2021 submissions were open and received. Thanks to everyone who took the time and care to provide your feedback by making a submission. We are in the process of analysing data with a report currently scheduled for the 8 December 2021 Council meeting where we will decide on whether to proceed with the sale.

Engagement events

The below events have now occurred. You can watch a recorded video of the online presentation below.

Online information sessions including Q & A

Thursday 2 September, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm


Tuesday 14 September 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm


Face-to-face drop-in session

Friday 10 September, Coburg Library, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm ***CANCELLED***

While we would love nothing more than to talk to you in person, this is currently not possible due to current COVID-19 state government restrictions.

* In lieu of face to face and considering low numbers of registrations for other offerings, we have sent an additional 5,000 flyers to Coburg homes.

Information Session - Proposed Coburg Health Precinct - Sept 2

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

  • It is a proposal from a company called Coburg Health Hub (CHH) for a campus-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 a parcel of vacant land next to the Coburg Civic Centre on the corner of Bell Street and Pentridge Boulevard.
  • There is high demand for health and community services locally, and we expect this need to grow.
  • The health and community services sector is Australia’s largest and fastest growing employer.
  • The main benefits described in CHH’s proposal are:
  • New health and community services: locally delivered services such as acute and primary health care, rehabilitation, mental health, childcare, residential aged care, aged care support services (such as home care), and NDIS services
  • $160 million of new direct investment to deliver the health precinct 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

Because of recent changes to the Local Government Act, and the importance of this particular project, Council received legal advice to ensure the process was carried out in accordance with all relevant legislation and our own policies. This advice noted that the public notice and consultation process we have followed goes beyond what is required under current legislation and the Community Engagement Policy 2020.

  • The proposed services would be delivered by a mix of private and not-for-profit providers. CHH have estimated that not for profit and community service uses will make up over half of the precinct, by floorspace.
  • Proposed community health services include not-for-profit allied health services including NDIS services and not-for-profit residential aged care, as well as a bulk-billing GP super clinic and consulting suites
  • Ensuring services in the precinct would be accessible to the broadest possible range of the community has been a key aspiration for Council.
  • CHH predict that their proposal would create around 1,000 jobs.
  • Around 350 of these would be in the construction phase
  • Over 600 ongoing positions would be created in health and community services such as jobs in primary care, aged care, childcare, management, administration, etc., at a variety of levels.
  • The health and social services sector employs more Moreland residents than any other sector.
  • Jobs in this sector tend to particularly benefit women, and part-timers.
  • When Council received the proposal from CHH it was assessed as meeting or exceeding all key requirements for a health precinct. In addition, Council has engaged with CHH to ask them to strengthen the project in four key ways:
    1. Allowing for a far greater level of community engagement throughout the process than would typically be required for this kind of project
    2. Maximising environmentally sustainable design
    3. Respecting and celebrating the heritage of the site
    4. Maximising services and facilities available to those on lower incomes.
  • Council has had an independent valuation of the site carried out, to ensure that the proposed sale of land achieves market value, in line with legal requirements.
  • No. Rate rises would not be needed to fund this project.
  • 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.
  • Since setting the strategic vision for a health precinct for the community in 2010, Council has worked to find a suitable partner who could deliver this outcome for the community.
  • Council carried out research into local needs, detailed strategic assessment, and extensive community engagement, before deciding that the best use for this particular site was a health and community services precinct
  • Previous engagement has highlighted that local people support the creation of new health services, community services, and jobs for central Coburg.
  • Health and community support is also a major concern for our residents, according to the recent large-scale engagement for Imagine Moreland
  • Health and community services is the biggest growth sector for jobs in Moreland, and this project would provide good jobs close to home for locally skilled people.

The Moreland Health and Wellbeing Profile 2020 provides an analysis of data and research on health and wellbeing in Moreland. The profile considers the social areas of health, liveability and urban resilience across 77 categories, and identifies priority areas to inform planning, strategies and projects. Some of the key issues highlighted in the Moreland Health and Wellbeing Profile 2020 include:

  • Over half of adults in Moreland have one or more chronic disease.
  • Over one quarter of Moreland adults are diagnosed with anxiety or depression. There has been an increase in Mental Health impacts due to COVID-19.
  • The percentage of people reporting type 2 diabetes is among the highest in the state.
  • The percentage of people aged over 65 years with severe and profound disability living in the community is among the highest in the state.
  • The percentage of people reporting high/very high psychological distress is higher than average.
  • The percentage of females reporting fair or poor health status is higher than average.

Demand analysis carried out in 2018 for a proposed health precinct in Coburg found:

  • High population growth of people over the age of 50 in Moreland will drive demand in the aged care sector.
  • There is growing demand in Coburg and Moreland for Primary/Allied Health facilities.
  • There are significant annual shortfalls in current Medicare funding of healthcare services in the precinct’s catchment area (Brunswick, Coburg, Moreland-North, Darebin-North, Darebin-South and Essendon). This indicates an unmet demand and an opportunity for additional service provision.

The proposed health and community services precinct in Coburg is actively supporting the Moreland Health and Wellbeing Profile 2020, which is being integrated into the Council Plan 2017-2021 and the Moreland Human Rights Policy 2016-2026. Some of the key guiding principles of the Council Plan that this project is addressing are:

  • Whole-of-Council Approach – the project team consists of a large variety of professionals, acknowledging the delivery of health services is not merely a technical exercise but a critically important collaboration to ensure the ultimate benefits are realised at community level.
  • Partnerships – through leveraging private sector and not-for-profit investment to expand health services in Coburg.
  • A focus on Health Equity – by ensuring that the services provided in the new Health Precinct will be accessible to the broadest possible range of the community.
  • A precinct of the type and scale, involving over $150million of upfront investment, and complex partnership arrangements with health providers, is not something that Council would be able to deliver on its own.
  • Since setting the strategic vision for a health precinct for the community in 2010, Council has worked to find a suitable partner who could deliver this outcome for the community.

Coburg Health Hub P/L describe themselves as:

  • Coburg Health Hub Pty Ltd (CHH) is the coming together of experienced and enthusiastic development professionals, who have a long history of delivering quality retail, commercial, education and medical projects nationally. They are backed by a large not-for-profit funder who is supporting CHH in its proposal to deliver a vital piece of social infrastructure for the Moreland community.
  • CHH has strong working relationships with leading not-for-profit, community health and private providers across the whole care spectrum who are aligned in creating a sustainable and state of the art precinct based on an inclusive model of care for the community.
  • CHH has selected an experienced and highly regarded consultant team to work with Council and Community Groups to create an iconic health care precinct.
  • The CHH proposal is available within the document library on this page.
  • CHH have provided the following list of health-based service projects which the directors and/or the consultant (Clarke Hopkins Clarke and Connect PM) have delivered: Hospitals
    • Penrith (NSW) 90 bed rehabilitation and mental health hospital
    • Sunshine (Vic) 76 bed acute care facility
    • Sunshine (Vic) 38 bed Mental Health Facility
    • Bundoora (Vic) 60 bed acute care facility
    • Bundoora (Vic) Consulting suite building
    • Blackburn (Vic) 53 bed acute care facility (refurbishment)
    • Carina (Qld) Mental Health Facility
    • Heidelberg (Vic) Child & Adolescent Mental Health
    • Mornington (Vic) – Maternal Health & Obstetrics
    • South Yarra (Vic) Gastroenterology Facility
    Medical (GP’s/Super Clinics)
    • Golden Grove (SA)
    • Caroline Springs (Vic)
    • Box Hill (Vic)
    Child Care Centres
    • Diggers Rest (Vic)
    • Caroline Springs (Vic)
    • Greenvale (Vic)
    • Golden Grove (SA)
    • Werribee (Vic)
    Residential Aged Care Facility · Reservoir (Vic) 110 beds.
    · Gisborne (Vic) 72 RACF and 35 Care suites
    · Keilor (Vic) 72 RACF and 60 Care suites
    · Mcleod (Vic) 72 RACF and 67 Care suites
    · Knoxfield (Vic) 180 RACF
    · Geelong (Vic) 98 RACF

  • Then this particular proposal would not go ahead.
  • The land would stay vacant and underused until Council can consider future opportunities for alternative uses of the site and find a suitable partner to deliver them. This would likely take years to realise.
  • The State Government has consistently advised Council that 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, the separate kitchen and laundry building are heritage listed and, under any scenario, it is, 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.

  • Yes. The Colours of Coburg Place Framework, which Council adopted in 2010 following extensive community consultation, sets out the vision for the delivery of a health precinct on the site.
  • Recent large-scale engagement for Imagine Moreland to determine the community’s long-term vision for the municipality has also highlighted that health and community support are high priorities for the community.
  • The Council has made several attempts over the past decade to realise this vision.
  • Yes. The community consultation program run five weeks between August and September 2021. The community were invited to submit their views through this website.
  • Interested members of the community were also able to present their views at a Hearing of Submissions, a public meeting of Councillors, in October 2021. All submissions from the community will be compiled and presented to Council, and Council would consider these before they make their final decision on whether or not to sell the land.
  • The consultation run for five weeks over August and September 2021.
  • Interested members of the community were also able to present their views at a Hearing of Submissions, a public meeting of Councillors, on Thursday 7 October 2021.
  • Council will make a final decision on the sale of land towards the end of 2021.  
  • Should Council decide to sell the land, throughout 2022 CHH will then develop detailed designs for the precinct and apply for a planning permit. Should the planning permit be granted, it is expected construction will begin in 2023.
  • The site is mostly used by Council staff for both formal and informal parking, as well as a small number of public car parking spaces.
  • 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, as is the process with any large project.
  • More information, and the Council report setting out the proposal can be found here.
  • Two online information and question and answer sessions were held during the five week engagement period. A video of the presentation at is available on this page.

Project history

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.

Image shows a timeline of the history of planning for the health precinct in Coburg, dating from the 1980s.

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).

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.

Timeline of community involvement, beginning in 2010.

Community benefits

Community benefits of proposed health and community services precinct

The proposed Coburg health and community services precint 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.