Halford Street – Old Mount Alexander Hospital
The Halford Street site was the previous home of the Mount Alexander Hospital. Some areas of Halford Street are leased by small business owners who operate from the buildings there through WorkSpace Australia. The Halford Street site is managed by Dhelkaya Health.
The Halford Street site was discussed as part of a comprehensive community consultation in 2016. The consultation talked about the challenges we face delivering health services into the future, in particular because of the age of our buildings and the lack of connections between our facilities. This makes access a real issue, in particular for older people and those with mobility issues.
The Victorian Government’s Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) works across the state to ensure our state health system meets the current and future needs of our population. The VHBA has responsibility for the planning and delivery of the Victorian Government’s health infrastructure program.
The VHBA recently completed installation of a 200kWp solar array for Dhelkaya Health, as well as upgraded clinical equipment and replaced our ageing car fleet. The VHBA is also looking at our Halford Street and Cornish Street sites as part of their ongoing program of work to improve Victoria’s health infrastructure.
In November 2022, The Regional Health Infrastructure Fund (RHIF) announced funding for Dhelkaya Health to undertake the demolition of the former nurses’ quarters on the Halford Street site (the building on the corner of Myring and Hargraves Streets). This work was completed in May 2023.
For more information see our frequently asked questions below or contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What has happened at Halford Street?
The old nurses quarters were decommissioned over 25 years ago, and has lain empty since then. The buildings became the target of vandalism and damage and over time become unsafe. Dhelkaya Health announced new funding from the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund in late 2022 to demolish the building. The Digga Group undertook the demolition work.
What happened on the site and when?
The demolition work ran from 1 May to 19 May 2023.
An initial safety audit was completed internally to assess and plan the hazardous substance removal phase, which will be the first phase of the works. This audit was conducted in late April.
Once the audit was completed, safety fencing was constructed around the perimeter of the demolition site (ie. not around the whole hospital site, just where the Old Nurses’ Quarters was located). A site office was installed near the demolition site around the same time.
From 1 May 2023 appropriately qualified and trained professionals removed hazardous materials from the site. Demolition took place after this work was completed.
I saw workers in PPE – what was that all about?
In March 2023, Digga Group commissioned an asbestos audit using their specialist sub-contractor Identifibre for the Halford Street work. Identifibre are a company with expertise in asbestos and hazardous materials management. Identifibre’s building inspection and report revealed asbestos containing materials requiring accredited class A and class B removal.
Digga Group and their sub-contractor Australian Asbestos Removals completed the safe removal and disposal of asbestos in the first phase of the works prior to demolition.
Air monitoring is mandatory for all class A asbestos removal work and was carried out by a licenced assessor. Monitoring occurred before, during and after removal of asbestos, and was part of the process to ensure work could continue safely.
Subsequent building demolition, including the main bulldozing works, were progressed after the asbestos removal work was completed. Pressurised water, protective fencing and other mitigation strategies were in place throughout the demolition works but varied depending on the specific nature of the work being undertaken at the time.
What was the impact on neighbours?
The demolition work took place during daylight hours. The contractors had dust prevention strategies in place to eliminate excessive dust during the demolition.
There was minimal impact on surrounding roads. There was an increase in trucks and other associated vehicles using the roads, but all residents and businesses maintained access to parking and the surrounding roads.
What will happen to the Workspace Australia businesses?
The Workspace offices and building will remain intact. Tenants directly adjacent to the worksite were offered alternative rooms during the demolition work to minimise noise disruptions. This building will continue to be used by Workspace as a small business incubator for the foreseeable future.
What will happen to the site now the building has been removed?
The site will be “made good” as a green space. All rubble and fencing will be removed, grass seed will be sown and some basic low plantings. The area will be left as a neat, open, green space.
Due to staffing changes, there has been a delay in between the completion of demolition and the final ‘make good’ phase. However, our staff have met with contractors onsite at Halford Street in October 2023 to discuss the site features that could be retained (eg. fencing, steps, stone retaining walls, entry paths, etc.) and landscaping, in particular maintenance needs (eg. watering, mowing). The next steps will be to engage the contractors via a formal contract, agree timeframes and complete the work.