Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2352 ..
These are the issues that relate just to the tower block. Building and air handling systems in the reception block are particularly worrisome as well. There are some doozeys. This one relates to building 3: exposed sets of cables which indicate they are live. This is highly dangerous and potentially harmful to electrical services personnel. In addition, one cable had exposed ends that are covered with electrical tape, making them unacceptable and not in compliance with the Australian standard. In my office we have joked—and perhaps we should not joke—that perhaps they are holding the hospital together with baling twine and duct tape and it turns out from the AECOM report that there is duct tape being used in a non-compliant way.
This motion is simple and straightforward. It calls on the government to be accountable and to agree to inform the Assembly by September this year of the full accounting of what has been done in response to the AECOM report and the 147 extreme and high risk issues that are in place. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (12.28): I thank Mrs Dunne for this motion, which the government will be supporting. The Canberra Hospital and the many health assets that ACT Health manages are of different ages. It is certainly the case that the Canberra Hospital campus is approximately 50 years old, with some facilities being only a couple of years old. It has consistently provided high quality healthcare services to the Canberra community. ACT Health regularly undertakes routine and planned maintenance of all its infrastructure, including Canberra Hospital.
As part of this approach to effectively plan, an extensive desktop audit of ACT Health infrastructure was commissioned in October 2015 and provided to ACT Health in February 2016. This report, which is titled ACT Health Infrastructure Asset and Condition Report and Minor Works Priorities, was undertaken by AECOM and is the subject of today’s motion.
Commissioning a report such as this is exactly what good governments do every day: undertake detailed work to inform planning, funding and delivery of essential services. The AECOM report provided an audit of all ACT Health assets, which at the time of the audit included 31 individual facilities across the territory, one of which is the Canberra Hospital. Within the Canberra Hospital there are 23 separate facilities or buildings identified.
As with any assessment and report of this nature, a condition assessment was undertaken and risk ratings were applied to ACT Health facilities and infrastructure items in order to assist the government to prioritise. These risk ratings ranged from low to extreme. Of course, the report identified a number of items which were used to inform the development of the subsequent 2016-17 budget initiative to upgrade and maintain ACT Health assets. It enabled the government to prioritise its investment, again, something that good governments do every day. Indeed, they are essential to good government. That is exactly what this government did. This UMAHA initiative in last year’s budget will deliver $95.3 million of upgrades to ACT Health facilities, the majority at Canberra Hospital.