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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Public forum to discuss SPIRE Project

Concerns have been raised about a lack of effort to promote a public forum tonight, Thursday 26 September, which is discussing the SPIRE Project (pictured) to be built on the Canberra Hospital campus.

Canberra Weekly was contacted by a long-term Garran resident, who, while supporting the region having access to high quality health care, is disappointed with the lack of attempts to notify local residents of the forum.

“I originally heard of it through word-of-mouth and only received a flyer about the meeting in my mailbox five days prior to the event,” the resident said.

A spokesperson from Major Projects Canberra said the session was promoted to local residents through the Garran Primary School newsletter as well as via letterbox drop to all residences in Garran. There is also an event promotion on the SPIRE Project webpage.

The community information session is intended to provide an early briefing to Garran residents and the Garran Primary School community.

“The purpose of this session is to introduce Major Projects Canberra and the project team to the local community, provide an overview of the SPIRE Project and outline key milestone activities,” the spokesperson said. “Community members will be able to ask questions and outline any key areas of interest or concern.”

Once operational, the SPIRE Project will deliver a new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility at the Canberra Hospital campus.

“The new facility will replace the existing emergency department, with emergency services such as ambulance having direct access via Palmer Street. Air ambulance will also have direct access via a new helipad on top of the facility,” the spokesperson said.

The Garran resident has expressed concern about the current plans for the SPIRE Project including access, parking, noise and a lack of adequate planning and would like the ACT Government to: reconsider the proposed new access from Palmer Street to the SPIRE Accident and Emergency; take measures to mitigate the effect of helicopter noise on homes and other buildings near the flight path of the proposed new helipad; and provide a robust suite of measures to address parking and ensure safe traffic flow before the start of demolition and construction.

According to the Major Projects Canberra spokesperson, during construction “every effort will be made to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties including the Garran Primary School”.

As the project progresses, the ACT Government will continue to “keep the local community informed via a range of ongoing communication and engagement activities, including regular project updates and information sessions”.

A public forum discussing the SPIRE Project will be held at Garran Primary School, school hall (Gilmore Crescent, Garran) tonight, Thursday 26 September 6.30pm. All welcome.

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