Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 2017) . . Page.. 3992 ..
building, but I do not know very much about high-rise buildings, and I am not an expert. We need assurance from the experts about how this matter will be rectified, why we cannot take the panels off at the moment, and why we have not ordered the panels. If we know that we have five per cent or 10 per cent of the building that needs to be rectified, we know how many panels that is and we can put in an order for the panels now. We should have done it in August, rather than waiting until September, October or November to work out the way forward and then put in the order, putting us farther down the list of people who are waiting for supply.
We could have acted earlier in relation to the cladding on the women’s and children’s hospital. We have a fair idea how much it is. You can over-order if you need to: if it is an issue of public safety, over-order if you need to. Like everything this government does, it is done in a hashed together way, completely lacking in clarity. The minister’s statements today are completely lacking in clarity. There is a fair amount of shoving here—
Mr Gentleman interjecting—
MRS DUNNE: Yes, I do understand the fair amount, but what you were doing today, minister, through you, Mr Assistant Speaker, was saying, “This is the responsibility of the commonwealth, this is the responsibility of the builder, and this is the responsibility of the building inspector. Don’t blame Mick Gentleman.” At the same time, he wants to say, “I was across this issue from 2009.” You cannot have it both ways. You cannot be totally across the issue and then sheet home the blame to everybody but you.
That is what this government do on a consistent basis. They speak doublespeak. We have had a great example of doublespeak here today from Mr Gentleman in the same way as we have had it from the minister for health. What we want, what Ms Lawder is calling for in this motion, is clarity and the bright sunshine of truth.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (3.59): I am pleased to have the opportunity to discuss this matter today and also to hear the further discussion points that have come up. On behalf of the Greens I will actually be supporting Minister Gentleman’s amendment to this motion but I am pleased that, through that amendment, the government has committed to provide the Assembly with its independent advice and reports in relation to the cladding at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
There is no doubt that the safety of patients in our public hospitals and all people across the ACT is a very serious matter. Of course, this issue has come to the fore following a fire at Grenfell tower in London earlier this year. The scale and devastating impact of that fire has prompted governments across Australia, and indeed around the world, to review the safety of their buildings, particularly those that are built with aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core.
Following the Grenfell tower fire, the ACT government established a working group to investigate the use of aluminium cladding in Canberra buildings and assess any risk of potential structural fires. As the minister for planning noted in an update to this