The SPIRE Project

As our city continues to grow, so too does demand for health services.


Upcoming events

Everyone is welcome to attend upcoming SPIRE Project community information forums:

Healthcare planning

As our city continues to grow, so too does demand for health services.

Territory-wide health services planning, undertaken by the ACT Health Directorate, aims ensure the healthcare needs of Canberrans are met today and into the future.

An important part of this planning is the assessment and provision of infrastructure that will allow Canberra Health Services to fulfil its goal to provide quality care when and where it is needed.

The SPIRE Project is the largest healthcare infrastructure project being undertaken in the ACT.  Together with existing facilities and several other infrastructure projects underway across Canberra, the SPIRE Project will help meet the increasing demand for complex healthcare services required by our growing, and ageing, population.

The SPIRE Project

The SPIRE Project will deliver a state-of-the-art emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility on the Canberra Hospital campus.

The new facility will ensure the healthcare needs of our growing and ageing community are met today, and into the future.

The SPIRE Project is transforming the Canberra Hospital campus and will enhance the delivery of hospital-based health care in a modern, purpose-built facility.  It will form the anchor-point for future hospital campus developments.

With more than $500 million invested in the Canberra Hospital campus, the SPIRE Project will deliver increased capacity across the hospital’s adult intensive care, paediatric intensive care, surgical and emergency services.  

SPIRE infographic

Features of the new facility

The SPIRE Project will deliver:

  • 148 inpatient beds (including 60 Intensive Care Unit beds and 24 Coronary Care Unit beds)
  • 22 operating theatres
  • 114 emergency treatment spaces
  • 55 day surgery beds
  • integrated radiology and medical imaging facilities
  • patient, carer and staff spaces for respite, learning and meeting

In addition to these increases in critical care service capacity, the project offers improved access between the emergency department and critical care utilities.  


Following extensive planning and feasibility work, the new facility will be built at the eastern end of the hospital campus.


The SPIRE Project factsheet
Media release, 29 May 2019

The SPIRE Project location also effectively re-purposes valuable campus space, by demolishing aging buildings (building 5 and 24) and replacing these with a new, purpose-built facility.  The new build will accommodate contemporary models of care, new and emerging technologies and flexible design principles. 

Existing critical operations such as the helipad and emergency services area at Canberra Hospital will continue to function, uninterrupted by the SPIRE Project.

Planning and enabling works have commenced and the SPIRE Project is anticipated to be completed in 2023/24.

Project activities

The SPIRE Project includes two significant workstreams:  

  1. SPIRE Project Main Works: the design, construction and integration of the new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility at the Canberra Hospital; and 
  2. SPIRE Project Enabling Works: the activities and actions required to clear and prepare the site for construction.

An indicative timeline of key phases is illustrated below.

The SPIRE Project Activities

SPIRE Project FAQs

How tall will the new emergency, surgical and critical care facility be?

The new building will not exceed the height of any existing Canberra Hospital building. A concept design for the facility has been completed and the detailed designs will be developed during 2019 and 2020 in consultation with key stakeholders and clinicians.  

Will there be noise reduction measures in place during construction?

A high level of attention will be paid to minimising noise and construction-related disturbances that may impact on the well-being of patients and neighbouring residents.  At a minimum, all site preparation and construction will be subject to the Environment Protection Act 1997 and Environment Protection Regulation 2005 aiming to protect people from excessive noise.

Will the public be kept informed?

As the SPIRE Project progresses, Canberra residents will be kept informed through a variety of means including updates on the Major Projects Canberra website: , the Our Canberra newsletter, leaflet drops and information forums.  Enquiries may be directed to  You can also register to receive project updates via the subscription button on this page.

Are you building more car parks?

Access to car parking at the Canberra Hospital is acknowledged as an ongoing concern for patients, visitors and staff.  ACT Health, together with Canberra Health Services, is currently exploring options to support increased access to parking on or near the hospital site.  Further information regarding parking will become available as plans progress.

Where will the Emergency Department be located?

The Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will be in the new building.  Once the facility is operational, the existing ED will close.  The helipad, currently adjacent to Building 12, will also be re-located to the top of the new building which will ensure rapid access to the ED.

What’s happening with the health and residential services currently available in building 5?

New accommodation will be found for the Sexual Health and Child at Risk Health Unit services currently operating in Building 5.  Consultation with staff and users is currently underway to assist in identifying suitable office and clinical spaces.  Further information will be available as planning progresses.

The Building 5 residences will continue to be accessible until mid 2020 for interstate visitors and carers of patients who live more than 100km from Canberra Hospital.  

Canberra Health Services, with input from impacted stakeholders, is currently developing plans for the alternative arrangements that will be put in place for patients and carers going forward.

What’s going in the new building?

The building will include:

  • 148 inpatient beds (60 Intensive Care Unit beds, 64 surgical inpatient beds and 24 Acute Cardiac Care Unit beds)
  • 22 operating theatres
  • 55 day-surgery beds
  • 2 Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratories
  • 114 emergency treatment spaces
  • a 10-bed Short Stay Mental Health Unit
  • integrated radiology and medical imaging facilities
  • 12 ambulance bays
  • patient, carer and staff spaces for reflection, learning and meeting

In addition to the increases in critical care service capacity, the project will deliver improved access between the helipad, ambulance bay, emergency department and critical care facilities.  

The new facility will greatly increase Canberra Hospital’s capacity across a range of emergency and critical care services.

When will it be finished?

The SPIRE Project is scheduled for completion in 2023/24.  


Opportunities to stay informed

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Page last updated on: 2 Oct 2019