Ballarat community members have been given a pivotal role to play in guiding the Ballarat Base Hospital's $541.6 million redevelopment.
Sixteen members of the community have been appointed to a Community Consultative Committee to be led by former Premier Steve Bracks and the city's two state MPs.
The committee members will be joined by representatives from BHS, the Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative and the City of Ballarat to participate in 'project planning and development through open dialogue and consultation'.
The goal of the committee is to provide a local perspective and create greater engagement with the broader community as it encounters the challenges of a bigger hospital in a growing city.
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A new emergency department is a key part of the project, which will move the entrance away from Drummond Street in order to improve traffic flow around the hospital.
The redevelopment, expected to be completed in 2027, will also include a women and children's hub, theatre suite and an additional 100 inpatient and short stay beds.
It is estimated that the upgraded hospital will be able to treat at least 18,000 more patients and 14,500 extra inpatients per year.
BHS chief executive Dale Fraser said the redevelopment, remaining at the heart of the health precinct, will take Ballarat Base Hospital through to at least 2035.
"Ballarat's a growing city and we need a service that has not only the ability to meet today's demand, but the future demands so this gives us a good long period of capacity," he said.
"This will be our main site for a long time to come and how this site remains contemporary with needs and growth will be our goal of next five or six years.
"We have multiple sites already so our current thinking is that our sites today are adequate for what we need for the foreseeable future.
Mr Fraser said transport considerations were high on the agenda with a larger hospital meaning greater staff numbers.
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"This Base is really still CBD, in my view, so in any development we're doing, we are very conscious of the additional capacity of parking spaces we need to maintain and we are ambitious to try and create additional spaces to meet our true demand."
Buninyong MP and committee deputy chair Michaela Settle said the hospital was not just about serving Ballarat, but serving the greater region.
"I think that the only way you can really lead well is to get the voices of the community because they're the people that know what they need... what the barriers are and the challenges so I think it's incredibly important to have community consultation on a project like this," she said.
The full list of members of the community consultative committee are:
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