Further delays to the Health Minister Michael Ferguson’s much-delayed Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment are now inevitable after yet another confirmed discovery of asbestos on the site.
Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said Mr Ferguson now had a raft of questions to answer, not only about new construction delays but about worker and patient safety as well as delays in investigating the latest incident.
“There is absolutely no question that this project – the biggest construction project in Tasmania – will now be further delayed and there is no chance Michael Ferguson can deliver the hospital redevelopment in the timeline he set himself,” Ms Lovell said.
“It is deeply concerning that construction workers have for the 12th time been exposed to asbestos on this work site and it is extremely concerning that WorkSafe inspectors have not been on the site.
“It’s just as concerning that the appropriate steps were not taken on April 18 when this notification was made to properly contain this site.
“Construction workers now have valid and serious concerns that this contamination could have spread through the site and they are calling for Australian Standard testing to ensure it is a safe workplace.
“It’s no longer a question of whether or not there will be delays – it’s a question of how delayed it will be and Michael Ferguson needs to be upfront with Tasmanians now and tell them when this project will be delivered.
“Tasmanians have no choice but to accept that.
“This is a project that has been so badly mismanaged by the Health Minister that he has put workers safety at risk and that’s unacceptable.”