Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 2017) . . Page.. 3997 ..
expressed no concerns about our ability to make sure that patients and staff are safe in this building. I again remind members that ACT Fire & Rescue have been on the public record saying the Centenary hospital is a safe building.
Since ACT Health became aware that the cladding contained this particular core following the Grenfell fire disaster, fire system testing has been increased. This additional testing regime will continue until the panels have been removed, and additional emergency response training has been provided to building wardens. Further training, including emergency drills, has been programmed to occur in the coming fortnight and thereafter on a regular basis.
It is certainly the case that ACT Health have responded exactly as any responsible minister would want them to respond, going the extra mile, particularly because this is a hospital. I am glad of the opportunity to once again reassure members and the community of ACT Health’s proactive approach to managing this issue and that remediation works will be commencing in the near future.
I will also comment on what I agree with Minister Rattenbury were some highly irresponsible comments made by the opposition on this matter. Despite Mrs Dunne’s extreme sophistry around some of this debate, I welcomed the fact that she did not want us running around like headless chooks whipping up alarm. Well, I take this opportunity to remind Mrs Dunne of comments Ms Lawder made about a month ago in a media statement that she made on this issue:
The ACT Government has potentially put the lives of Canberrans, including newborn babies, in danger … we have learned that it could be on the verge of a massive fire disaster at any time.
If alarming and irresponsible and reckless comments have been made by a member of this place, those are they. They had serious potential to mislead the community and inappropriately influence the decisions of those in need of medical attention. I certainly look forward to Ms Lawder correcting the record and not doing as her colleague suggested and run around like a headless chook. If there was a definition of running around like a headless chook causing alarm in the community, it would be Ms Lawder’s comments in August.
I hope this debate today reaffirms the utmost seriousness with which the government is taking this matter. It is taking the advice of experts, doing what governments do: appropriately and methodically responding to a very serious and important issue. I note we are ahead of most other jurisdictions in the country, noting that Queanbeyan hospital was identified just a couple of weeks ago as also containing this cladding. I commend ACT Health for the excellent work they have done on this, and I look forward to continuing to update the Assembly. I hope the opposition can agree to Mr Gentleman’s amendments because they provide more information, which I have said all along I am very willing to do.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.18): This has been an excellent opportunity to gather a bit more information, which has previously been less than forthcoming, from the