Page 2731 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what other options were examined for tables for the adult mental health unit, and was steel construction an option?

MS GALLAGHER: I understand that different materials were considered and that the wood was chosen because it met the requirements of safety for the residents and staff of the adult mental health unit. Yes, metal and other types of materials were considered as part of the procurement process, and all relevant procurement processes, including the provision of quotes, were sought for the design of the table.

I would say that the table has done exactly what we sought that it would do in that it is not able to be lifted and used as a weapon.

Mr Smyth: It broke.

MS GALLAGHER: No, it did not break. Somebody attempted to rip it out of the floor and throw it and they were not able to do it.

Mr Hanson: That was the purpose of it, so that it would not break.

MS GALLAGHER: Yes. But they were not able to use it as a weapon and throw it at staff. So it actually did the job. It was pulled out of the floor. It was not able to be lifted, which was one of the very clear requirements of it.

Mr Smyth: It broke. Something obviously is not working.

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, it needed to be fixed, as did other—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: We are all highly skilled on specific furniture making for mental health units. The requirement was that it be heavy and fixed to the floor so that it could not be used and picked up and hurled about as a weapon. And that is exactly what it has done.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it to ensure safety is paramount in these procurement processes?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. As members would be aware, it is a unique workplace where, through the design of the adult acute mental health unit, we have sought to specifically address the deficiencies in the previous unit at the psychiatric services unit. Part of that was to create an environment and an amenity that is probably second to none in the mental health inpatient units across the country. Many visitors have come to have a look through the unit specifically because it established a new standard in care. We are very proud of the fact the unit was able to do that.

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