Following community consultation in 2021 Council decided to retain ownership of the cottage complex and renew the lease of the Coburg Historical Society.
The building will be respectfully restored and integrated into the precinct’s design through the masterplan, in line with its heritage status.
The cottage works will also include the construction of a new annex to replace the Coburg Historical Society’s existing storage facility (which is not fit for purpose), and the creation of a historic garden.
The works to the bluestone cottage complex will be carried out by Coburg Health Hub with oversight from Council and input from the Coburg Historical Society.
Coburg Health Hub is the company that will be delivering this project, backed by a not-for-profit superfund.
Council decided to sell the land to Coburg Health Hub in December last year. This followed a rigorous public process to facilitate the delivery of health and community services locally, that address key gaps that have been identified.
Coburg health and community services precinct is the name of the Council project that includes the sale of land and the creation of a health and community services precinct that will be delivered by Coburg Health Hub.
The precinct site is on vacant land next to the Coburg Civic Centre on the corner of Bell Street and Pentridge Boulevard.
Coburg Health Hub will enable a range of health and service providers including a hospital, GP-super clinic, mental health facility, allied health and community services such as aged care and childcare.
During extensive community consultation in 2021, 73% of submitters supported the sale of land to create a health and community services precinct. Following the consultation Council resolved to sell the land to Coburg Health Hub.
A health precinct on this site has been planned and discussed for over a decade and directly responds to identified need for local health and community services.
A key consideration for this project is ensuring services in the precinct are accessible to the broadest range of people possible. An agreement is in place that requires the inclusion of over 50% of the services provided within the future precinct be not-for-profit and community services such as Merri Health.
Community health services include not-for-profit allied health services like NDIS services and not-for-profit residential aged care, as well as a bulk-billing GP super clinic and consulting suites.
The site is currently used by Council staff for both formal and informal parking, as well as a small number of public car parking spaces.
Coburg Health Hub will be required to provide adequate public car parking on site for all new facilities they deliver.
It is inevitable that there will be new visitors to the area during construction and after opening the precinct. The impacts to individual streets will not be well understood until the design stage of the project. During the upcoming planning stage, Coburg Health Hub will be required to undertake detailed traffic management plans to show how this would be managed effectively, as is the process with any large project.
No, rate rises would not be needed to fund this project. The delivery of the health precinct will be funded by Coburg Health Hub.
Moreland has a number of key health challenges and mental and physical health needs are expected to grow in our community.
The need for health services is directly linked to population growth and Moreland’s population increased by nearly 36,000 people between 2009 and 2019. Moreland is part of the North Western Melbourne Public Health Network. This region experienced high population growth and an increasing need for additional services.
In 2018 North Western Melbourne Public Health Network needs reporting identified issues across the region that include:
- Need for more localised services
- Wait time for services, with a particular concern for the elderly and CALD communities
- Very high levels of service demand from a diverse range of priority groups
- Variations in service capability and capacity to respond to the dynamic and changing environment, and to adopting innovative approaches to improving service effectiveness
- Need for more integrated and co-ordinated service models.
- Need for more accessible services
2018 analysis by Price Waterhouse Coopers found that:
- High population growth of people over the age of 50 in Moreland will create growing need in the aged care sector.
- There is a need in Coburg and Moreland for Primary/Allied Health facilities.
- The demand for primary health services suggest there is an immediate need for additional services, particularly for Dentists, Medical Radiation Practitioners, Physiotherapists and Psychologists.
- There are shortfalls in the number of GP providers across the catchment areas that the health precinct would service, particularly in Moreland north and Darebin –north.
- There are significant annual shortfalls in current Medicare funding of healthcare services in the precinct’s catchment area indicating an unmet need for additional health and community services.
- Brunswick-Coburg area is expected to experience a particular increase in shortfall for GPs.