The ACT Government has potentially put the lives of Canberrans, including newborn babies, in danger by allowing patients to receive medical care while covering up the fire risks associated with external aluminium cladding at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Nicole Lawder said today.
“This hospital was supposed to be the most advanced facility of its kind in Canberra but instead we have learned that it could be on the verge of a massive fire disaster at any time,” Ms Lawder said.
“By Minister Gentleman’s admission, the ACT Government was aware of the fire safety risks associated with external wall cladding before the Centenary Hospital was built.
“Centenary Hospital construction began in 2010. In the Assembly today, however, Minister Gentleman confirmed that the government was aware of the fire risks associated with the cladding used at the hospital in 2009. The fire risk was again confirmed by the directorate in 2012.
“Nevertheless, the construction of the hospital with combustible cladding was completed in 2013 and only now in 2017 has the Minister advised the combustible material is to be removed.
“For several years the hospital has been operating while the Government did nothing about this fire risk. It is a disgrace and I call on the Government to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation,” Ms Lawder concluded.