Local South Australian family-owned business McMahon Services has been selected as the preferred contractor for the first stage of demolition at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

The decision paves the way for more than two hectares of the existing hospital site to be reclaimed for the Adelaide Botanic Garden - part of more than 70% of the site to be opened up to the public.

The East, Hone and Cobalt Wings will be the first of the buildings to go, and will form part of the two hectares of hospital land to be transferred to the adjacent Adelaide Botanic Garden.

The demolition works on the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site are expected to be the biggest the State has ever seen, creating significant demand for the industry for up to two years.

The Stage One demolition is expected to support 95 local jobs with works expected to begin in December.

The combined cost of demolition and remediation for the entire project is estimated to be in excess of $150 million and will be completed over a series of staged public tenders.

The State Government is also finalising details for a range of activities, events and other opportunities to continue drawing people to the site and the wider East End precinct during the redevelopment.


The obsolete buildings earmarked for demolition were built between 1950 and 1980, and predominantly contain a mix of metals, concrete and masonry, which must be separated, processed and removed from site.

Some also contain asbestos which will be appropriately removed and processed. All waste will be processed appropriately, and either taken off site or recycled and reused.

Heritage buildings will be retained and refurbished.

An announcement will be made soon about the redevelopment of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site which is expected to generate more than $1 billion in investment and support 600 construction jobs.

Quotes attributable to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan

The demolition, activation and redevelopment of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site will be one of the most significant projects shaping Adelaide’s East End into the future.

The old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is arguably the most valuable and prominent site in the city of Adelaide and its transformation will open up this closed site, making it an accessible space for all South Australians to use and enjoy.

Under the redevelopment, more than 70% of the current hospital precinct will be made publicly accessible including more than 2ha of land in the eastern part of the site which will be designed to integrate with the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

The demolition of these old and outdated buildings will be one of the biggest projects of this type ever undertaken in South Australia.

It will provide significant opportunities for local demolition and remediation contractors to gain work.

High levels of expertise will be required to remove buildings up to 12-storeys and the contractors will need to ensure that noise and dust are kept to a minimum.

Quotes attributable to Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Chair Judy Potter

We applaud this exciting announcement on the commencement of the first stage of the demolition of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site, particularly the plans to return 2ha of land to the Adelaide Botanic Garden and the creation of new links, new vistas and a new entrance.

People visit Adelaide Botanic Garden for diverse experiences and the Botanic Garden and State Herbarium is in a unique position to lead the way in activating the area upon the hospital’s relocation to its new site.

It is the Board’s firm view that it has a significant part to play in creating a long-term legacy for Adelaide and South Australia more broadly.

Through the active involvement of BGSH, the redevelopment has the potential for extensive community benefits including contributing broadly to the quality of life of South Australians and the State’s visitors.

We look forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders to achieve this vision and create the best possible outcomes for the Botanic Garden, the Cultural and Education precinct and Adelaide.