The SPIRE Project

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


Upcoming activities and events

The SPIRE Project Local Community Reference Groups nomination process has now closed. Registrations will be reviewed and assessed. Successful nominees will be informed in early January 2020.

The SPIRE Project

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 will deliver a modern, purpose-built and 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 and region are met today and for the decades ahead.

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.  

Features of the new SPIRE Project

The SPIRE Project will deliver significant benefits to not only patients but also their carers. There will be new spaces for patient, carer and staff for respite, learning and meetings as well as improved access between the emergency department, helipad, the 12 ambulance bays and critical care utilities.

In addition to integrated radiology and medical imaging facilities and a 10-bed short-stay Mental Health Unit within the Emergency Department, there will be 148 inpatient beds – including 60 Intensive Care Unit beds and 24 Coronary Care Unit beds.

The remaining features and benefits are seen below:

SPIRE Project

Proposed floor allocation of the SPIRE facility

Proposed floor allocation

Location of the SPIRE facility

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


The location of the SPIRE Project also effectively re-purposes valuable campus space, by demolishing ageing buildings (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.

Public, consumer and clinical consultation

On Friday 22 November, the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA, announced the Local Community Reference Group (LCRG) was open for registrations until Thursday 12 December 2019. Now closed for nominations, Group members will be contacted shortly and advised of their appointment to the LCRG. The first meeting will be held in late January and the Group will provide ongoing feedback to Major Projects Canberra about the SPIRE Project on topics including our urban landscape, safety, school, and community and local residents. Members of the LCRG will also share information presented at these meetings with their community.

The newly formed Consumer Reference Group (CRG) will help ensure we deliver an outcome that provides an exemplary care environment for patients and considers the needs of all groups who will use the new facility. The CRG is made up of a cross-section of groups representing the diversity of the Canberra Community. Beginning with their first meeting on 13 November 2019, the CRG meets monthly.

The Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) is an advisory, investigative and decision-making body that will focus on clinical planning, policy and strategy for the SPIRE Project in the context of the whole hospital. The group will works ensure that the service and facility user requirements are accurately reflected in the SPIRE Project and will assist in resolving clinical planning issues that arise in relation to the SPIRE Project.

In addition to the CAG, there are 10 Clinical User Groups focusing on the:

  • Emergency Department
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Acute Cardiac Care Unit and Interventional Cardiac Laboratories
  • Mental Health Short Stay Unit
  • Perioperative and Interventional Suite
  • Surgical Inpatient Unit
  • Helipad
  • Medical Imaging
  • Loading dock
  • Central Sterilisation

These conversations are just the start of the journey. Through ongoing engagement with these groups, information forums and online surveys, there will be ongoing opportunities for community input.

SPIRE Project activities

The SPIRE Project includes two significant workstreams:  

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

Construction of a new modular building has now begun to enable the relocation of staff currently in Building 24.  Further enabling works, which includes the construction of an additional modular building on the Building 8 site, are also in the planning stage. The program of enabling works will continue throughout 2020.

Meanwhile the design of the SPIRE Project is also being progressed. Currently the design is at concept stage with input from clinicians, consumers and the community being used to inform the building requirements and scope.

An indicative timeline of key phases is illustrated below.

The SPIRE Project Activities

More information

SPIRE Project FAQs

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

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

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 wellbeing 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 aimed at protecting 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

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?

Canberra Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will be relocated with the SPIRE Project. Once the facility is operational, the existing ED will close. The helipad, currently adjacent to Building 12, will also be relocated 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, Child at Risk Health Unit services and other Canberra Hospital functions currently operating in Building 5. Further information will be available as planning progresses.

The residence in Building 5 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 affected stakeholders, is currently developing plans for the alternative arrangements that will be put in place for patients and carers going forward.

When will it be finished?

The SPIRE Project is scheduled for completion in 2024.

Opportunities to stay informed

Project updates will continue to be published on this page.

If you have any questions, please contact


* indicates required


Page last updated on: 13 Dec 2019