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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (1 August) . . Page.. 2529 ..


Mr Coe: The specific question was: what actions have you taken to ensure that no member of your ministry, your caucus executive or MLAs' staff were involved in the production or distribution of this material? The Chief Minister has not answered what action he has taken and I ask that he be directly relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: His answer has gone to the point, the ideal, of the question. Do you have anything to add, Chief Minister?

MR BARR: As I said, Madam Speaker, and I repeat: I am absolutely confident in the integrity of all members of the government and of staff in this place, and that they would not be involved in such activities.

Ms Lee: In other words, nothing.

MR BARR: The allegation that has just been made by Ms Lee is disgusting.

Canberra Hospital—safety

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Mental Health. Minister, non-removal of ligature points at the Canberra Hospital was identified as an extreme risk by the accreditation committee. For the information of members—I am sure you know, Minister—a ligature point is anything that could be used to attach a cord, a rope or other material for the purposes of hanging or strangulation. Media reports on 12 July claimed that the removal of ligature points had been delayed by a year and was expected to be completed by August or September. This is something that ACT Health has known about for some time. A spokesman for ACT Health was quoted in the media story as saying:

"It's not a cheap process so that did take ACT Health some time to work through how that was going to be funded."

Minister, why did budget considerations delay the removal of the extreme risk ligature points in the Canberra Hospital?

MR RATTENBURY: That is a fair question that Mrs Dunne has asked. I can inform the Assembly that when this matter was brought to my attention in the second half of last year as a potential budget bid, I discussed it with the acting director-general at the time and said I was not prepared to wait for this to be a budget bid and it had to be dealt with immediately. The acting director-general at the time, who happened to be the Under Treasurer, agreed with me. At that point, matters were sought to be progressed rather than waiting for a budget case to come through.

MRS DUNNE: Why is it that the adult mental health unit had ligature points, given that it was opened in 2012 and should have been state of the art?

MR RATTENBURY: That is also a good question and one that certainly crossed my mind in coming into the portfolio. I think it is a reflection of the fact that the standards are changing, and changing quite rapidly. The reason there is that the particular


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