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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 18 November 2010) . . Page.. 5684 ..


MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, would you like to start the question again?

MR DOSZPOT: I would love to. My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Mr Stanhope. On Tuesday this week, the Canberra Times reported that a “thorough investigation” will be undertaken into the alleged security breach that occurred during Saturday’s demolition of the Glenloch bridge. What will this investigation entail, minister, and when will it be completed?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question. Indeed, there was a worrying incident during the demolition of a bridge at the Glenloch interchange. The Department of Territory and Municipal Services had arranged for a bridge that was no longer required within the interchange to be demolished. It was decided that the most cost-efficient way of removing that particular bridge was for it to be imploded.

TAMS take a very serious view of the safety issues and implications of exploding or imploding anything, indeed, in this case, a bridge. They decided for security reasons that the explosion or the demolition should occur early in the morning. They chose a Saturday morning, and planning proposed that the demolition occur at or around 6 am, with a view to ensuring as least disruption to the public as possible.

Two exclusion zones were put in place—one a one-kilometre exclusion zone and the second a 150-metre exclusion zone. It was decided, on the basis of advice that was going through the coronial inquest in relation to the implosion of the Canberra Hospital, that the explosion or the demolition not be advertised. That was done deliberately on the basis of the tragic experience of the Canberra Hospital implosion. It was deliberately not advertised so as not to attract onlookers.

At 10 to 6, a jogger/walker encountered the outer exclusion zone, the one-kilometre zone. He was advised that he could not proceed, that he should not proceed, that there was to be a demolition and that the site was dangerous, and he was requested not to enter. That person was annoyed and expressed anger that there had been no public notification. This is the complexity for the department. They deliberately did not advertise, and this particular member of the public was annoyed that his progress was being impeded. However, he left the site; he turned away and walked away from the zone.

Unfortunately, out of the sight of that particular marshal, he re-entered the zone. He was on the bike path and walked across country onto Lady Denman Drive and was, at the time of the implosion, he claims, 150 metres away. However, we had a 150-metre exclusion zone, which he did not cross. It was subsequently discovered that he was probably within 300 metres of the demolition when it occurred.

It is of concern to me and to the department that, at that stage, he had been within the exclusion zone for 40 minutes out of sight. The department did two runs along Lady Denman Drive in the 10 to 15 minutes prior to the explosion to ensure it was clear and safe, and he was not sighted. At this stage, we do not know where he was.

The purpose of the inquiry, Mr Doszpot, is to seek to better understand why this person, having been asked not to enter the zone, did. We are inquiring why it was that,


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