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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 937..


Building industry-development conditions

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Urban Services. In the discussion paper of the review of private certification in the ACT building industry, staff in PALM expressed concerns that "there are no site audits undertaken by BEPCON resulting in compliance now being too reliant on neighbours blowing the whistle"; "BEPCON audits also do not include planning considerations imposed under the development approval"; and "Private building certifiers do not certify off-site works or other development conditions that affect the public realm".

Minister, your own staff have raised these major concerns. What have you done since these comments were made in April 1999-that is almost two years ago-to ensure that the development conditions set by your department are being complied with?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, a comprehensive review has been done. I have now received that and the government is to respond accordingly. There are some concerns, and this is why the government said that when we put in place these provisions we would have a review and if there were any shortcomings they would be addressed. That process is being followed through now.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Given that this issue is two years old, what guarantees can the minister give that development conditions are being complied with, and when will he publish the results of that review?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, the results of the review will be out shortly. I have had time to consider it. The government's response will be fulsome and appropriate. We said when we brought in these new conditions that, yes, it was a new system and it would need to be reviewed and looked at, and if any finetuning had to be carried out then that would occur. Different groups have made many comments on the whole range of what this affects and the government will be responding shortly and accordingly.

Canberra Hospital-admission of children

MR OSBORNE: My question without notice is to the Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services, Mr Moore. Minister, this morning I received a visit from a constituent about the experiences he had at the Canberra Hospital last night with his 12-month-old daughter. I gave the minister a copy of the notes taken from that meeting earlier today, which I will briefly summarise for members. This person had their child referred to the hospital by their GP due to a confirmed serious bacterial infection. The child was admitted around 7 o'clock last night and given a bed in an acute care ward. This was done as there were no beds available in the paediatric ward and there were no cots available in the hospital. The baby's parents got the impression from hospital staff that this was not an unexpected nor uncommon occurrence.

As the family had private health insurance they admitted their baby as a private patient. As there was no room in the paediatric ward or a cot for the child they asked to be transferred to the paediatric ward of the National Capital Private Hospital in which they had previously had care. They were informed by the staff that the paediatric ward of the National Capital Private Hospital had been closed about two months ago. After a couple of false starts a cot was eventually available in the paediatric ward and the baby was


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