Page 2353 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 2 August 2017

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As has been noted in the AECOM report, there were four items of infrastructure with an extreme risk rating identified. Those items and the subsequent remediation which has taken place are as follows: the upgrade to the helipad was completed in January of this year; windows in TCH building 1 have been remediated and downgraded in their risk rating; the electrical main switchboard replacement, I note, was the subject of an extensive statement by me in this place in May; and the building 12 gas metre relocation project is expected to be completed within the next month.

In total, 149 items will be addressed through the upgrade and maintain ACT Health assets budget initiative. They include in that initiative all items rated as extreme or high risk rating across ACT Health properties and a number of medium and low risk rating items associated with Canberra Hospital buildings 2 and 3. In addition, where practical, ACT Health will try to mitigate outstanding medium and low risks through the facilities management business-as-usual repairs and maintenance and/or plant and equipment recurrent funding.

As we know, this report was released to members of the Assembly yesterday but I note that certain members of this place have had a copy of this report since 19 June. I again remind members that on 9 May this year I made a very extensive statement to this place regarding the electrical switchboard fire and subsequent power shutdown at Canberra Hospital.

I can assure the Canberra community that ACT Health continues to deliver health services of a high quality in a safe environment. The government will continue to deliver on its commitments to upgrade and improve health services and infrastructure, including work already underway to deliver on our previous and newer commitments, most notably the University of Canberra public hospital, scheduled to open in a year’s time. This government has a proud record of investment in our health system and this extends to investment in infrastructure, demonstrating the importance of ensuring that the community has access to high quality health services.

As I noted, the government will be supporting this motion and I look forward to returning to the Assembly in September to follow up on the actions required in the motion today and also to outline additional work that the government is undertaking to ensure that our health services and our health facilities remain of the highest standard. This includes $17 million in this year’s budget to upgrade the acute aged care and oncology wards.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure members of the Canberra community that ACT Health did the right thing, commissioned a report and provided prioritisation that informed a budget initiative of nearly $100 million last year. All that work is underway. I have made extensive statements. I will continue to be open in numerous forums, including in the Assembly and with the media and with the opposition. Governments must be able to undertake assessments of infrastructure, they must be able to properly prioritise investments in each budget. That is exactly what this government did. That is exactly what I now have the responsibility to ensure that ACT Health deliver, because it is the expectation of me as minister, of this government, of the Assembly and of the community.

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