Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 2017) . . Page.. 1429 ..
Madam Speaker, the community can also be confident in the response that was provided by all ACT government directorates involved in this particular issue. I will continue to keep the Assembly updated on progress regarding our infrastructure upgrades at Canberra Hospital, as well as other ongoing and planned investments in our health infrastructure portfolio.
I present a copy of the statement:
The Canberra Hospital—Switchboard incident and replacement of electrical switchboards—Ministerial statement, 9 May 2017.
That the Assembly take note of the paper.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.41): I move the following amendment to Ms Fitzharris’s motion:
Add: “and that the Assembly calls on the Minister for Health, by the end of the current sitting period, to:
“(1) provide the Assembly with a full chronology of events, starting with the time when problems with the main switchboard were identified initially and concluding with the signing of the contract on 7 April 2017 with Shaw Building Services to replace the main electrical switchboard; and
(2) table the AECOM risk assessment report on the performance of infrastructure at The Canberra Hospital, referred to in the hearings of the Select Committee on Estimates 2016-2017 on 29 June 2016.”.
I thank Minister Fitzharris for the update but it still leaves many questions unanswered. It was a serious fire, and I am concerned about the extent to which—for instance, in briefings that I have received and also in the tone of this paper today—the seriousness of the fire has been downplayed. “Don’t worry, Mrs Dunne, it was less than a third of one of the nine switchboards involved.” It has been characterised to me as “a small electrical fire”. Although it was a small fire in the amount of physical damage that it created in a very small space, the implications and ramifications of that fire were serious.
There has been a long litany of discussions in this Assembly, through the annual reports hearings and through the estimates hearings, about the problems that have been identified in relation to infrastructure at the hospital, and particularly electrical infrastructure. It is time that the government became, in the words of the minister, “fully open and accountable”, and gave a full accounting of the concerns that have been highlighted as far back as September 2015, when there was a code yellow in the same area of the switchboards in building 2, and about what the government have learned about the problems in relation to the switchboards from the very first time they knew they had a problem with those switchboards, through until the signing of a