Construction is underway on the JHHIP project

Image: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and the John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct project team at the official sod turn

A traditional sod turn ceremony has marked the start of construction of the new seven-storey Acute Services Building, the centrepiece of the $835 million John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct. 

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard joined the team on site. 

Uncle Raymond Smith led the event with a traditional smoking ceremony. Aunty Cheryl Smith followed with a Welcome to Country. 


There was attendance from the Integrated Project Team, which includes Health Infrastructure, Hunter New England LHD, APP Corporation, Multiplex and BVN Architecture as well as a number of staff and community members.  

The new Acute Services Building will transform health care in the region, providing a 60 per cent increase in Intensive Care Unit capacity, almost 50 per cent increase in theatre capacity and almost 40 per cent increase in emergency department treatment spaces. 

John Hunter Hospital is one of the largest trauma centres in the state and is set to meet the demand of the region in the years to come, following the region’s predicted 22 per cent population increase over the next 15 years. 

The John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct will include a new: 
  • emergency department and more adult and paediatric critical care services; 
  • birthing suite and inpatient maternity unit; 
  • neonatal intensive care unit and special care nursery; 
  • operating theatres, interventional and procedure spaces; and 
  • helipad and more than 900 car spaces for staff and visitors. 
The redevelopment will help drive education and jobs for locals, with an expected 70 per cent of the work being delivered by businesses throughout the Hunter region. On completion, the health precinct will support research and innovation, bringing together health, education and research to drive employment opportunities in the region and improve health outcomes for our community. 

Enabling works, including the relocation of services and roadworks, will prepare the site for main works construction, expected to start before the end of the year. The project is scheduled for completion in 2026.