A world-leading national health precinct housing the latest treatment and research will be built on the ANU campus under a new plan announced today.
The ACT Government has sold ANU an 8,600 square metre block on Marcus Clarke Street for $16.75m, which the University will transform into a new home for its world-leading research and teaching in health, as well as a place where Canberrans can access the latest therapies and a centre for policy making in health.
"This once-in-a-generation opportunity was too exciting to miss," ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said.
"This block of land was the missing piece of our campus and future generations of students and academics will thank us for seizing the opportunity to buy it. We will use this site to bring together research, teaching, policy, treatment and public engagement to understand and meet Australia's future health needs, which is a key part of our mission as the national university."
The site is adjacent to the headquarters of the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Academy of Science. It will house the University's world-leading translational work in public health, biomedical science, medicine and psychology, as well as transforming research in next-generation personalised precision medicine into treatments available to the public.
It will also have space for health-focussed organisations and agencies, clinical services, engagement and learning opportunities, and related retail.
Professor Schmidt said ANU included the purchase of the land within its budget and would seek commercial partners to fund the development, which was expected to be into hundreds of millions.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the ANU purchase would generate important and ongoing education, health, and economic benefits for Canberra.
"The sale will see the under-utilised land transformed into a nationally significant health precinct," Mr Barr said.
"In addition to world-class treatment and research, the future precinct will create jobs, draw students and clinicians to Canberra, and drive economic activity.
"The ACT Government is investing in the revitalisation of the city centre and this important investment from ANU will further integrate the University into the heart of our city."
The site was until recently used primarily as a car park. It is currently a depot for the government's London Circuit project and will continue to be used in this way in the short term. Construction on the new complex is expected to be complete within six years.