Monday, 9 October 2017

Issues identified in state-wide safety sweep

SMALL sections of cladding on Armidale Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Building will be replaced immediately, following the discovery that they do not comply with the latest stringent fire safety codes.

Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall was briefed on the issue this morning by NSW Health officials and said the non-compliance was discovered during a sweep of all NSW Health buildings across the state.

“I commend the quick action taken by NSW Health Infrastructure in identifying the issue and starting work immediately to fix it,” Mr Marshall said.

“The NSW Government Cladding Taskforce has undertaken a review of 4,621 buildings across the state, and of those, only a handful have been found to have issues.”

Upon being briefed, Mr Marshall immediately contacted Health Minister Brad Hazzard’s office, which assured him the minor works would start immediately to ensure the whole building was compliant.

“I have received assurances that the minor non-compliance does not present any immediate risk to people’s safety,” Mr Marshall said.

“The building will continue to be fully staffed and operate as per normal for patients, even while the required work is undertaken.

“With fire safety experts starting their work this week, it’s anticipated that the building will fully comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) standard within the next few weeks.”

Mr Marshall confirmed that all materials and construction associated with the $60 million redevelopment of the Armidale Hospital had been assessed and it fully complied with the National Construction Code (NCC) and the BCA standard.

The $8 million Ambulatory Care building was opened in April 2014. In the following year, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment issued a planning circular to advise industry on best practice for external wall cladding. The Australian Building Codes Board updated their advice again in September 2016.