Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Is One Step Closer

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Is One Step Closer

Victoria Minister for Health David Davis

Preferred Bidder For Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Announced

Victor P Taffa

Construction starting on the state’s $1 Billion new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) is one step closer with a decision this week by the Victorian Coalition Government to appoint a preferred bidder, the Plenary Health consortium.

This means the Coalition Government will now progress negotiations solely with Plenary Health towards signing a contract.

The Government intends to move as quickly as possible to finalise the arrangements with Plenary Health. The next key milestone in the project, contract signing, is expected to be achieved in late November 2011.

Once built, the VCCC will be a world-class cancer centre that accelerates the translation of research into new and innovative treatment, trains Victoria’s cancer specialists and provides a centre of excellence for all Victorians affected by cancer.

The VCCC is based on the principle that the more minds dedicated to cancer working closely together, the faster we will find ways to reduce the impact of cancer in our community.

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Victoria. The increasing incidence and burden of this disease in Victoria is recognised by the Coalition Government as a key area for action in health.

Mr. Davis said the VCCC aspired to be one of the best comprehensive cancer centres in the world through the collaboration of recognised leaders in cancer research, treatment and care.

“It will be the new home for a relocated Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will link with existing cancer services at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Royal Women’s Hospital, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Western Health and St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, allowing all patients access to the best services and facilities.” Mr. Davis said.

“Other member organisations at the VCCC include the University of Melbourne and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.”

The new VCCC, which will become a prominent landmark in Melbourne’s bio-medical Parkville precinct, will accommodate the following clinical facilities:

• 160 overnight inpatient cancer beds

• 42-bed Intensive Care Unit

• 110 same day beds

• A dedicated Clinical Trials Unit with 24 treatment places

• 8 medihotel beds, with additional space for Country Patient overnight accommodation

• 8 operating theatres and two procedure rooms

• 8 radiation therapy bunkers

The new VCCC also includes dedicated space to house an estimated 1,200 cancer researchers. Education and training will be key functions of the VCCC, in addition to the provision of cancer treatment.

The VCCC will span two sites the main building being the site of the former Dental Hospital in Parkville, which is currently being prepared for construction, and redevelopments at the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s City Campus.

The VCCC site in Parkville is well serviced by public transport, however in recognition that many cancer patients are unwell or unable to travel other than by car, the new development will also provide basement parking for at least 500 motor vehicles in addition to secure spaces for approximately 400 bicycle users.

The lead parties within the Plenary Health consortium are:

• The Plenary Group as sponsor and investor;

• Grocon and PCL (Canadian based) as the builder in a joint venture;

• Honeywell as the facilities/ maintenance manager.

The architectural design team is led by Design Inc and Silver Thomas Hanley in partnership with McBride Charles Ryan.

The announcement of the Plenary Health consortium as the preferred bidder follows the successful conclusion of an exclusive negotiation phase between the state and Plenary Health that was undertaken in accordance with national Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Guidelines.

As a designated strategic project under the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP), there is a mandated 90% minimum local content requirement applying to the overall design, construction and fit-out of the new VCCC facilities.

The Plenary Health consortium has committed to a Local Industry Development Plan for the VCCC through work generated by the VCCC construction. This will include the creation of 500 new full-time equivalent jobs (including 50 new apprenticeships) on site and the retention of 3,100 full-time equivalent jobs (including 250 existing apprentices/ trainees). There is also expected to be millions of dollars in work for local industry.

On site labour resources will average 700 persons for the expected four years of construction, peaking in the order of 1,100 persons. Offsite resources involved in support industries, including design and manufacturing, is expected to average 2,500 persons for the project duration.

The VCCC is jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth governments, with contributions from the organisations occupying the VCCC, the sale of surplus land and philanthropic donations.