When will work start?

Early Works have already commenced at Fernhill. In March 2019, we will begin our major program of work that will start with the demolition of existing buildings at the front of the site near the corner of King and George streets in preparation for construction of our new state-of-the-art buildings and amenities.

What does this mean for residents/clients?

Our day to day operations at the Fernhill community will continue as usual. We have undertaken a thorough approach to planning the redevelopment to ensure work is carried out efficiently and to the highest standard. We have developed a staged approach to undertake the work and to minimise disruption at any given time to our community.

We will use our regular channels of communication, including face to face meeting opportunities, newsletters and the monthly resident meeting, to update you on how the work is progressing. There will also be information on display at reception that provides details of the work. We will engage with you on progress and will be hosting community opportunities to be part of this exciting new development. We will be gathering email addresses to keep residents up to date on activities.

What will be included in the first stage?

Stage 1 will create a new, state-of-the-art multi-storey residential aged care community for 162 residents and will deliver new retail space, supporting community connection. This stage is expected to be completed in early 2020.

What will be included in the second stage?

Stage 2, starting in 2020, will see the construction of new supported living apartments and further work on community spaces and enhanced amenities.

Who is the builder?

The builder we have engaged is Hansen Yuncken, an Australian company which has been operating since 1918 and has extensive experience delivering residential communities for older people.

Their accreditations include:

  • Quality Management System AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008
  • Environmental Management System AS/NZS 14001:2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems AS/NZS 4801:2001
  • The Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme
  • Pre-qualification for government work
  • Police Checked

Do you expect to complete the work to schedule?

There is always the potential for occasional delays to occur in any building project, especially due to unexpected weather conditions. Our planning has taken this into consideration and we will be working to complete the project to schedule and as efficiently as possible over each stage.

Will I be able to have Foxtel in my room?

Yes, the new building will support Foxtel connection to the resident rooms.

Will the building work interfere with computer systems and put our data at risk?

There is no risk to data because of this work. All our critical systems at Fernhill have uninterruptable power supplies and are attached to back-up generators.

From time to time the builders may need to shut off power to the site for short periods. Residents and team members will be given a weeks’ notice when this is expected to happen. The Residential Aged Care community will run on back-up generators.

Will the quality of services be affected?

We understand Fernhill is both a home and community and we want to make sure it is as comfortable as possible during the redevelopment work. We are committed to ensuring the redevelopment work is delivered efficiently and minimising disruption.

Our team will continue to provide excellent support and our operations will continue as usual during the time the works are underway. We will keep you updated as work progress and in the meantime, your key points of contact are Ram Korla (RAC), Nicole Da Silva (AHS) and Anne Kratzke (RL).

There are a number of trees that are part of the history of Fernhill. How will they be managed?

Several historic trees on the Fernhill site be preserved where possible as they are an important part of our history. We have worked with the project landscape architects and Hansen Yuncken to minimise the impact of building work on our mature trees.

Any trees we cannot avoid moving will be replaced as part of the landscaping work. Importantly, our Future Fernhill will incorporate more green space and landscaped areas.

What will happen to the ANZAC Day service?

The ANZAC Day services held at Fernhill will not be impacted by the developments and will continue in 2019 as planned.

What will happen if you find anything in the ground you weren’t expecting?

Hansen Yuncken have a comprehensive procedures plan to follow if they uncover anything in the ground they were not expecting to find. Work will immediately cease and the items will be treated with sensitivity and respect.

Have you considered the traditional owners of the land?

We have reached out to the traditional owners of the land and will continue to consult with them in the ongoing stages of development.

Will Bolton Clarke be keeping all the land?

Yes. As part of the masterplan, the entire site will be redeveloped using a staged approach. The new community will be fully landscaped with shady outdoor seating and parkland, a retail precinct, underground parking and open green spaces to encourage active lifestyles and community engagement.


With the start of construction there will be heavy traffic on site. How will traffic safety be managed?

The construction site will have its own access, to keep heavy machinery separate from residential traffic. The necessary changes will mean variations to some access routes, and we will continue to consult and work with you to minimise any disruption associated with this. A map of changed site access routes and parking options is now available, and we will provide updated information as work progresses.

Where will my family and friends park when they visit?

We are working to ensure adequate parking continues to be available on-site for residents, clients, families and friends. A map of changed site access routes and parking options will be provided to all our residents and clients with more information about the development program.

When we come in after dark we use the George St entrance. Will the Russell St entrance now be permanently opened?

The King St entrance will be the main entrance during construction work. The George St entrance is not available during the construction period and the Russell Street can be used by retirement living residents.

The Russell St entrance is difficult for mobility scooters. Will there be an alternative?

The King St entrance will also be available, and we are working to create a turning lane so residents can turn directly into King St and are not required to do a U-turn in Russell St.

Safety and wellbeing

I am affected by allergies/have breathing difficulties. How will dust be managed during construction?

We take the responsibility of your health, safety and wellbeing very seriously. Our contractors will be fully compliant with relevant WHS standards in the management of dust, and will take all necessary measures to minimise dust and air pollution and keep your environment clean and safe. We encourage you to share any concerns and ask questions along the way with your local manager.

We will be holding weekly updates with the contractors where there will be opportunity to raise and address any concerns or questions you may have.

What is happening with the fencing?

The first fence line will be set-up which will allow the builder to create a temporary turning circle for vehicles leaving the Hostel Administration. For a short period of time, vehicles may have to reverse out of the Porte Cochere until the turning circle is completed, but they won’t close the internal access road through the middle of the site.

We have provided two maps demonstrating how we will manage the site once full construction can occur.

For the bulk earthworks, the builder will focus on lowering the existing ground level between the existing Maintenance Shed and the Hostel Administration.

The builder can then see if there is a possibility of a shared access way to make it a bit easier for vehicles leaving the Hostel. This plan shows the fence line, location of the RACF building on the existing site, tower crane and mobile crane/concrete pump setup locations, hoist and loading bay, our internal site access.

How are you managing safety for residents during the redevelopment program?

The work being conducted complies with all building safety standards, the necessary building construction codes and legislation.

During each stage, the work area will be secured to ensure safety. Measures will be put in place including exclusion zones, safety barriers and clear signage.

Will there be any risk of exposure to asbestos?

We take the responsibility of your health, safety and wellbeing very seriously and we not put clients at risk.

Initial testing has demonstrated there is asbestos on site, for this purpose specialty contractors will be brought in to deal with the issue, remove materials or seal the affected areas and undertake the remedial building work.

In addition to this we will also be installing air monitoring devices to test for fibres. If at any time there is harmful product in the air we will cease work until the issue is resolved.

Will the site experience power or phone disruptions?

On Wednesday 27 February the builders will need to shut off the power to the whole site for one hour between 2pm and 3pm.

The Residential Aged Care site does have a backup generator which will minimise the impact to their services and the residents of the Retirement Village should not be impacted by this.

We will be working to minimise any disruption of services and will always notify residents and team members in advance of any more temporary power disruption due to works.

Will there be extra security on site during the construction work?

Security arrangements in residential areas will continue as usual during the construction work. Separate monitoring will be used to keep the construction area secure throughout the project. We will also have security patrolling the site at intervals during the night.

How will noise be minimised during demolition and construction?

The working hours for the builders are 6.30am till 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday – this does not mean there will be high levels of noise the whole way through but we can expect to see people on site at these times.

During the major program of work we anticipate increased noise, particularly during the initial demolition stage. We will notify our residents in advance of these works when noise levels are expected to be higher. Throughout this period, we are committed to offering you support and assistance.

Chapel / Historical

Will the cenotaph be relocated so we can continue to host remembrance services on site?

Yes, Fernhill’s Veteran heritage remains an important part of who we are. We’ll be working with residents and the local RSL Sub-Branch to keep everyone informed about relocation of the cenotaph and memorial plates at the chapel and to ensure we can continue to welcome the local community for important memorial services.

Will anything be retained from the Newman family’s original Fernhill home?

The kennels and original gate pillars, which are made from hand laid stones and date from the original homestead built in the early 1900s, will be dismantled as part of Stage 1 works. The stones will be retained and used in landscaping, and in a memorial recognising the gifting of the property by the Newman family.

Where will church services be held during construction?

Services will continue to be held in the community hall until our new chapel is built in the later stages of the Fernhill redevelopment project.

Will the chapel be replaced?

The new building will include space for a chapel and for spiritual reflection to continue to meet the needs of all residents.

Day therapy centre

Will the Day Therapy Centre be closing?

Our Day Therapy program will continue to operate from the current centre during the initial stages of work. We are still evaluating best future options to ensure this important service continues operating as normal.

Will I still be able to receive allied health services on-site?

Yes, our regular allied health providers will continue to visit Fernhill and take appointments for the convenience of our residents. We’ll provide you with more information if there is a need to relocate consultations to an alternative venue on-site.

Will my Day Therapy program be disrupted?

Our Day Therapy Program will continue uninterrupted but activities may be relocated or schedules modified while major work is underway. We will provide notice of any changes to venue or schedule to all our clients and families.

Will the new residential aged care centre offer respite?

Yes. We understand the needs of carers in the community and will continue to provide respite capability at our future Fernhill.

Can residents in the secure dementia unit still attend the day therapy program?

Residents in the new dementia care environment will have access to their own activities. The new environment is designed in line with internationally recognised dementia care principles to give residents choice and freedom.

Will the day therapy centre be modernised?

The day therapy program will continue to operate on site after the start of work. Your team will keep you informed about options as the development progresses.

The redevelopment of Fernhill will take place over seven years, and consideration will be given to the best options for the day therapy centre as part of those later stages.

Retirement Living

Will there be provision for extra rental accommodation at Fernhill?

Bolton Clarke is working to create additional rental accommodation in independent living units in response to identified need in a number of our communities. The retirement living team will keep you updated about future rental options at Fernhill.

Residential services

I am a RAC resident. Will my fees increase because of the redevelopment?

There will be no change to your accommodation fees because of the redevelopment or your move into the new building in 2020. Any changes to fee structures proposed as part of regular operational reviews will be communicated in advance in the usual way.

Will RAC residents need to relocate during building?

The RAC community will operate as normal and your team will continue to provide the same personalised care and support throughout stage 1 construction. Once the new state-of-the-art RAC is completed in late 2020, residents will move into the new building.

If unforeseen circumstances do arise some residents may require temporary relocation for their health and safety. The site managers will liaise directly with family members to ensure a smooth and comfortable transition

Will I be able to request a specific room?

Your team will work with you once the building is complete to discuss your personal preferences and needs, and these will be taken into consideration in planning your relocation.

What will happen if there is an emergency in the new multi-storey RAC?

There are multiple emergency exits and mechanisms on each level to ensure resident safety in emergency situations, in full compliance with the building code. The code which covers this development is one of the most stringent in the world and the new building will comply with strict standards in relation to safety, access and fire escape routes.With the completion of the building we will engage with our community around new emergency response plans.

Will we still have a hair salon?

Yes, the ground floor retail space provides for a hairdresser as well as consulting rooms for GPs and a retail component for a pharmacy or allied health rooms.

Will the food still come from off-site?

The new RAC will have a new commercial kitchen for on-site food preparation.

How many units will be on each floor?

There will be 36 units on each floor, grouped into neighbourhoods of 18. The new configuration will bring all our residential aged care and hostel residents together, rather than having rooms spread across 10 buildings as we do currently. This will allow staff to provide the most responsive service possible to meet residents’ individual needs.

Will we have emergency assistance on each floor?

Yes, there will be a nursing station on every floor and every floor will have a dedicated Registered Nurse and support staff on duty 24 hours a day.

What toilet facilities will there be for staff and visitors?

There will be staff and visitor toilets on every floor.

Where will the dining area be?

There will be a central dining area on each floor as well as smaller dining spaces within each neighbourhood, so residents can have greater choice around where they enjoy their meals.

What arrangements will there be for mobility devices and scooters?

The building is designed to be accessible and there is also space for mobility scooters and aids in the rooms. There will be power points in the rooms in appropriate locations for recharging scooters. The new design will create green space and outdoor living areas that are walkable and accessible, including broad footpaths and gentle slopes to enhance accessibility across the site for pedestrians, scooters and mobility devices.

Will I be able to hang my pictures in the new rooms?

There will be features in all rooms that will allow you to display pictures and personalise the room to your requirements.

How will activities be managed on each floor?

Every floor will have its own activities room, allowing for a range of activities tailored to resident interests and needs.

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