Taskforce Communique Number Five

13 November 2014

This is the final communique reporting on progress against the five work streams identified by the Taskforce so they can report against their Terms of Reference.

This communique addresses substantial areas of work:

  • the construction methodologies and decanting requirements
  • the level of capital and financial risk of the project for the State
  • finalising a small number of outstanding design matters and
  • the appropriate governance needed for the project if it was to proceed.

During October, the Taskforce continued to meet with clinicians and other key stakeholders to provide progress updates and seek input on a small number of matters so advice to Government could be finalised.

Construction and Decanting

The Taskforce has considered the final report by KPMG, RHH Redevelopment construction methodologies cost and benefits in relation to risk, October 2014. This considered construction, clinical, delivery, programming and financial risks of a two stage (methodology A) and a one stage (methodology B) construction methodology. KPMG considered almost 100 risks and concluded that methodology A had a higher construction risk profile while methodology B had a higher clinical and operational risk profile.

The Taskforce noted the significant concerns raised by clinicians about decanting hospital services off the RHH campus, specifically mental health inpatients and the Acute Older Person's Unit.

The Taskforce subsequently commissioned decanting feasibility studies to consider a number of on-site decanting options, including constructing a temporary two-storey building over the Liverpool Street forecourt, that may allow the majority of services to remain on site.

The Taskforce is finalising construction and decanting cost estimates and duration so they can provide advice to Government on a preferred construction methodology and decanting plan. Early indications are that if the project were to proceed in the new year that completion may be likely during 2018-2019 including approximately 12 months to refurbish and relocate hospital services to prepare for construction.

For more information on the two construction methodologies considered see Communique Number Three.

Capital and Financial Risk

The Taskforce has reviewed a number of budget items that had not been sufficiently scoped and which were key risks facing the project previously. Work has been commissioned to audit FF&E and ICT, to provide more detailed information on hazardous materials in areas for refurbishment, to review site-wide infrastructure requirements and determining appropriate contingency allowances.

The Taskforce will recommend a course of action that minimises financial risk if the project is to proceed.

Finalising Design Issues

The Taskforce has worked with clinicians and other key stakeholders on a small number of design matters that required more consideration. These included the alignment of the design with infection control principles, provisions within the Women's, Adolescent and Children's precinct, the appropriateness of the design for mental health inpatients and the previous decision not to include a helipad in this stage of the project.

The Taskforce also sought broad advice, and commissioned a feasibility study, on the installation of a helipad on the roof of K-Block.

Options responding to these issues will be provided in the final report.


Governance includes the accountability and authority needed to oversight a project of the scale of the Redevelopment and the leadership and skills needed to manage the project.

The Taskforce notes that the construction phase of a project has specific requirements and will present options for its governance and project management in the final report.

Finalising advice to Government

The Taskforce is now finalising work to inform the Final Report and provide advice to Government.

Building hospitals is a complex task, particularly on an operational hospital site.

The project has met with numerous challenges since its inception.

Successive design changes have frustrated progress and delayed the project. Managing the care of patients during the construction is also very complex and needed to be considered in detail.

Design work is now well progressed but key decisions are required by Government to make sure that risks associated with patient safety, and financial management and governance can be satisfactorily addressed.

The Taskforce investigation has benefited from considerable input from stakeholders including clinicians.

It is the view of the Taskforce that Redevelopment RHH project is feasible and the Taskforce will provide options to Government on how it could proceed by the end of month.