Townsville tender awarded in half-a-billion-dollar boost to local health care

Published Thursday, 01 June, 2023 at 02:00 PM


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

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • BESIX Watpac has been awarded the tender to deliver the Townsville University Hospital expansion.
  • The $530 million major expansion will deliver an additional 143 hospital beds and support 1,270 construction jobs
  • The Palaszczuk Government has now awarded more than $3 billion in hospital tenders to deliver 1,040 beds around the state, supporting 6,574 construction jobs
  • Construction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2026.
  • This is the biggest investment in Townsville University Hospital since it was built

The Palaszczuk Government has awarded a $530 million contract for the Townsville University Hospital expansion, bringing the total value of contracts awarded to $3.08 billion to deliver 1,040 extra hospital beds and supporting 6,574 construction jobs.

The investment is a key part of the Queensland Hospital and Health Plan, backed by a record-breaking investment of $9.785 billion for the expansion of 11 hospitals, plus three new hospitals and a cancer centre.

BESIX Watpac will deliver the project, which will deliver an additional 143 beds for the precinct and include a new start-of-the-art clinical services building and new integrated helipad.

The massive expansion will improve access to a range of health services for the growing local community, while supporting more than 1,270 construction jobs.  

The additional beds will be dedicated to rehabilitation and surgical patients and other clinical services.

As construction commences, the current helicopter pad will be relocated, making room for the new state-of-the-art clinical building which when complete includes a new integrated helipad on its rooftop.

The Townsville University Hospital expansion tender is one of seven tenders awarded in the last month, including:

Weather permitting The Townsville University Hospital expansion will be built in two stages with project completion expected in the second half of 2026.

The Palaszczuk Government is investing a record $1.2 billion for health care in the Townsville region – an increase of 59% since coming to government.

Quotes attributable to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“Our government promised more hospital beds for the people of Townsville, and we are delivering.

“This $530 million boost will deliver 143 beds for those recovering from surgery, as well as much needed clinical services infrastructure.

“We know that national pressures are leading to more people in our emergency departments, so we are equipping our hospitals with the tools they need to care for Queenslanders in need.

“I welcome BESIX Watpac onboard to deliver this critical expansion project, which will support more than 1,200 good local jobs.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:

This major project is another example showing the Palaszczuk government cares about the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders and their right to world class healthcare.

“Townsville is experiencing increased demand, we don’t make excuses, we build infrastructure and deliver beds, this $530 million dollar expansion is a clear example of our commitment to Townsville.

“These projects really are the engine room of a strong and healthy Queensland, 143 new beds for the local community, state of the art facilities designed with the future in mind and also 1270 much needed local construction jobs."

Quotes attributable to Member for Mundingburra Les Walker:

“This is the single biggest investment in the hospital since it was constructed and shows the value we place on our health services.

“Townsville University Hospital is the only tertiary hospital in the region and the hardworking staff help so many people which is why these upgrades are so important.”

Quotes attributable to Palaszczuk Government Minister and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart:

“I’m proud to be part of the Palaszczuk Government that continues to invest in health care in Townsville and North Queensland.

“Townsville University Hospital provides an amazing level of care to our community and this investment will enable that to become even better.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper: 

“As a former paramedic I know how important investing in the right infrastructure for our health workers is

“We will always back our health workers unlike the LNP who continue to refuse apologise for calling regional health workers duds.”

Quotes attributable to Townsville Health and Hospital Chief Executive Kieran Keyes:

“It was an exciting development to see the successful tender for the $530 million Townsville University Hospital expansion project announced.

“We know that our community is growing and ageing, and this significant capital expansion ensures that we continue to deliver contemporary, world-class health infrastructure to keep north Queenslanders healthy well into the future.

“This expansion will change the face of Townsville University Hospital and deliver 143 new inpatients beds for people in our community who need our care.”

Additional information:

As an indicator of the scale of the 2-stage project, collectively the Townsville expansion comprises 30km of hallways, requires close to 167km of vinyl, 130,000 lights and 1.75 million items of furniture, fixtures and equipment.

BESIX Watpac will partner with Queensland Health in incorporating innovative and modern designs for the expansions based on the principles of people, (including our First Nations communities) value and technology.

The Queensland Government is delivering the nation’s largest health capital program and the Capacity Expansion Project (CEP) – part of the Queensland Health and Hospitals Plan − will ensure Queenslanders living in some of the state’s fastest growing regions will continue to have access to world-class health care.

The Health and Hospitals Plan includes the provision of an additional 2,509 extra beds over six years – including 199 more beds in 2023 and 239 more beds in 2024 – in addition to 869 beds already being delivered through current expansion projects.


Media contact: Natarjsha Kramer - 0456 436 934