Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4944 ..
(3) What conditions are attached to the sale of the land, including requirements for the ANU to assist with relocating community groups that were using McGregor Hall.
(4) What are the details of the recent safety inspection undertaken at McGregor Hall.
(5) Is asbestos present at McGregor Hall and does it remain safe for use.
(6) What action has the Government taken to assist the Canberra Musicians’ Club to find a new venue once McGregor Hall has been demolished.
Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
1. & 2. Yes, the block has been sold. The site was sold for $2,640,000 ex GST. The ANU is undertaking associated and offsite works on behalf of the Territory to the value of $646,605 ex GST which was deducted from the final figure the ANU paid to the Territory.
3. The direct sale criteria contained in the ANU City West precinct Agreement requires the ANU to enter into a Development Deed with the Land Development Agency (LDA) for the development of the site, including associated off-site works. The ANU had no obligation to relocate the users of McGregor Hall. The Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services (DHCS) assumed responsibility for the building many years ago when the term of the Crown lease to the Pensioners Club expired on 31 December 1989.
4. The building was closed due to public safety concerns. A hazardous materials assessment of the building undertaken by Coffey Environments confirmed that in addition to asbestos other contaminates include lead based paint to cladding, window frames and some internal finishes, synthetic fibre insulation within the roof cavity and walls and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) within the light fittings. Advice was also sought from the Environment Protection Agency, the Health Protection Service and Worksafe ACT about the matter and after a meeting onsite with representative agencies and in consideration of the potential risks to health and safety of workers, or anyone accessing the building, it was decided that the building should be closed to public access immediately in order to address the Government’s responsibilities in relation to safety and legislative obligations.
5. Robson Environments was engaged to address the asbestos issue, including the clean up areas inside the building, removing debris and sealing damaged asbestos sheets and conducting airborne fibre monitoring. The monitoring produced results indicated that airborne fibre concentrations were below the minimum practical detection limit. There was concern that if the building was used again there was opportunity for further damage to occur, in particular to the asbestos sheeting. The building was not considered safe to use in its current condition and was closed and a fence erected around the site for the safety of the public. Demolition of the building will require the removal of asbestos in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Survey and Management Plan, prepared by Robson Environments, and the requirements of the Contaminated Sites Unit of the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, energy and Water (DECCEW).
6. DHCS continues to meet with the users of McGregor Hall and suggest alternative spaces that could be used, including the new Griffith neighbourhood hall, which is scheduled to open in mid September 2010. It is understood that there are current