Sunday, May 26, 2024

Arson-damaged Peacock Centre goes to tender

A multi-million dollar tender has opened for the rebuild of Tasmania’s Peacock Centre after the building was severely damaged by a 55-year-old arsonist in 2016.

The heritage building, known as Ruardean, will be redeveloped to operate as an integrated mental health service.

Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Jeremy Rockliff said that by focusing on reducing hospital admissions and readmissions, the centre would provide better outcomes for Tasmanians living with mental illness.

“A 12-bed wing will provide short-term stays for people who need extra care or support in the community following a hospital stay,” said Mr Rockliff.

“The ground level will operate as an integration hub, bringing together a wide range of care and support services such as housing, alcohol and drug, social, and employment.

“The Peacock Centre is a key part of the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s $104 million plan to build a better integrated mental health system, with more focus on hospital avoidance and community-based care and brand new facilities.”

The tender will close Wednesday 21 October, with construction estimated to take 18 months.

In 2018, 55-year-old man, David Leslie Chandler was found guilty of the arson attack and indefinitely detained in a secure mental health facility.

Chandler, who has chronic schizophrenic, had argued he was criminally insane at the time he splashed petrol through the foyer of the building and set it alight. There were 25 staff and an unknown number of patients inside the centre at the time of his attack. Two people were taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

The court heard that after setting the centre on fire, Chandler drove his car down the hill to North Hobart where he lit a cigarette and sat, watching the centre burn.

More information on the tender process can be found at https://www.tenders.tas.gov.au/

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