Where is Herston Quarter and what is being built there?
The Herston Quarter is located two kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, in Queensland. It is located within the established Herston Health Precinct. It is currently undergoing a $1.1 billion development.
Comprising approximately five-hectares adjacent to the existing Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, the site is set to provide Queenslanders with access to state-of-the-art health, hospital and aged care services, as well as creating scope in the future for international standard research and educational facilities.
Health, wealth and living company Australian Unity will develop the precinct, which includes both public and private hospitals and residential options for retirees and those looking for aged care, and take an ongoing role in operating care services.
What is Australian Unity's involvement in the Herston Quarter development?
In August 2016 the Queensland Government announced that Australian Unity had been selected as the preferred tenderer for the development.
The assessment focused on the developer's vision for the Herston Quarter and the extent to which aligned with the government's vision for the site, and the proponent's credentials, capability and experience in delivering high quality health and community precincts.
In February 2017, Australian Unity and the Queensland Government executed a series of agreements to deliver the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter project.
Australian Unity is the site's master developer. The first building to commence construction will be the Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre (SRACC). This public hospital is anticipated to be up and running by 2020.
The SRACC will be operated by the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS), which provides public health services in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. It will be leased to MNHHS for an initial term of 20 years.
Are there any public health facilities as part of the Herston Quarter project?
Yes. The initial priority for the development is the Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre (SRACC), to be operated by Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS).
It will comprise 100 rehabilitation beds, special purpose rehabilitation support areas and a surgical and endoscopic centre with a 32-bed surgical inpatient room, 7 operating theatres, 3 endoscopy rooms and recovery spaces.
Construction on the SRACC will begin in 2017, with the facility to be operational in 2020.
What are the benefits to Queensland from this project?
The Herston Quarter redevelopment is set to provide Queenslanders with access to state-of-the-art health, hospital and aged care services, as well as creating scope in the future for international standard research and educational facilities.
We also plan to create intergenerational diversity of residents and daily users of the precinct, from babies and toddlers in childcare through to those in retirement living and aged care accommodation. Importantly, we will respect and nurture the important cultural elements of the precinct.
Who is going to fund the development?
The $1.1 billion Herston Quarter project is multi-year, multi-faceted, development project that will have a 5 to 10 year construction life, and will be completed in stages.
Funding will come from a number of sources, including the Australian Unity Group, the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust and other investment vehicles.
Can you participate in the project as an investor?
Not at this stage. However, it is possible that Australian Unity will seek to raise capital for sections of the development through its unlisted property funds.
We encourage potential investors to regularly refer to the webpage for the Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust, which will contain details of any capital raising efforts as they are made public.
What is the risk of this development falling over and losing money?
Australian Unity has been awarded the contract for the Herston Quarter development because of our proven track record of investing in and developing state of the art hospitals and building and operating aged care, retirement living and wellbeing precincts.
Our long-term, measured approach to developments like this significantly mitigates development risk. As a 177-year-old, member-based, mutual organisation we can focus on longer term projects to deliver community value over time ahead of short-term shareholder returns.
How do Queenslanders know they are getting good value in this deal?
In 2016 the Queensland Government undertook a comprehensive competitive process to ensure that the right master developer was selected for this project. In August 2016 the Queensland Government announced that Australian Unity had been selected as the preferred tenderer for the development. The assessment focused on the developer's vision for the Herston Quarter and the extent to which aligned with the government's vision for the site, and the proponent's credentials, capability and experience in delivering high quality health and community precincts.
Australian Unity is one of Australia's oldest mutual organisations, dating back to 1840. We have no shareholders, and we can focus on providing products and services that deliver value to the community.
Where can I get my individual questions answered and how can I find out more?
You can contact us via the details on the Contact Us webpage. You can also sign up for updates that will keep you up-to-date with the latest announcements regarding the Herston Quarter.