Major milestone in Cairns Hospital expansion

Published Wednesday, 10 May, 2023 at 09:00 AM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • The $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion is one step closer with the tender being awarded.
  • The expansion will deliver an additional 96 beds across two sites and is in addition to the $26.5 million Emergency Department expansion currently underway.
  • The Palaszczuk Government is investing around $346 million in hospital expansions and upgrades in Cairns.

The Cairns Hospital Expansion project has reached a major milestone, with Hansen Yuncken being awarded the tender.

The project, which will deliver an additional 96 beds for the Cairns and Hinterland region, includes 64 beds at Cairns Hospital, and 32 additional beds in a new, state-of-the-art surgical centre.

The new surgical centre will be adjacent to James Cook University’s Cairns Tropical Enterprise Centre (CTEC), which will form part of the Far North Queensland Health Innovation Precinct, allowing for stronger linkages for teaching, learning and research.

The site for the new surgical centre, on the corner of Charles and Digger Streets in Cairns North, is also close to the Cairns Hospital campus.

The $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion will create more than 610 jobs during the construction phase.

Also underway at Cairns Hospital is a new $70 million mental health unit featuring a total of 53 beds, including a 10-bed mental health intensive care unit.

Works are also continuing on the $26.5 million Cairns Hospital Emergency Department expansion to deliver additional capacity, a dedicated x-ray suite, refurbished resuscitation areas and additional procedure rooms.

The first stage of the Emergency Department expansion is expected to be open in June 2023, with the full project due for completion in early 2024.

The Cairns Hospital Expansion project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2026.

Quotes attributable to Member for Cairns Michael Healy:

“I've always fought heard for event better health services in Cairns. We're taking about almost 100 extra beds at Cairns Hospital to improve services to our community,” Mr Healy said.

 Quotes attributable to the Queensland Premier:

“These projects will bring state-of-the-art health services to Cairns, and significantly bolster capacity in the region,” the Premier said.

“There is currently around $350 million worth of hospital expansions and upgrades in Cairns.

“We have also been investing heavily in the Tablelands, with the $86.4 million Atherton Hospital redevelopment due to open next month.   

“Our Government is committed to delivering more beds, more services and more frontline health workers for Far North Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D’Ath:

“I am proud to announce Hansen Yuncken – who has been operating in the Cairns and Far North Queensland region since 2008 – has been awarded the tender for the $250 million Cairns Hospital Expansion.

“Hansen Yuncken will partner across Queensland’s health system to bring together an innovative and modern design based on the principles of people (including our First Nations communities), place, value and technology.

“Delivering jobs for locals, through a local provider is important to our government − excitingly, this project will create more than 610 construction jobs.

“We are investing a record-breaking $9.78 billion over the next six years to deliver new hospitals and more beds for Queenslanders with our Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan.

“Our plan includes three new hospitals, 11 major hospital expansions, a new world-class cancer centre, and 3,378 additional hospital beds across the state.

“As part of our plan, we also delivered an additional 45 sub-acute beds for Cairns in March this year.”

Background / Further information:

Under the managing contractor model, Hansen Yuncken will deliver the detailed design for the project.

Hansen Yuncken must deliver a value for money guaranteed construction price for the project before commencing the main works construction phase.

The Palaszczuk Government provided $15 million funding for the acquisition of land for the future Cairns Health and Innovation Centre, and $1.5 million for the preparation of a preliminary business case in 2020.

Queensland Health finalised the acquisition of the parcel of land approximately 3230 sqm on the corner of Charles and Digger Streets from JCU in 2022.

The Palaszczuk Government has provided $4.65 million for the detailed business case for the Cairns Health and Innovation Centre to progress detailed planning for the project, with the business case expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Cairns Health and Innovation Centre will be on the same site as the new 32-bed surgical centre.


Media Contact: Cullen Robinson - -0418 170 474