Brisbane hospital coated in flammable cladding
COMBUSTIBLE cladding was used in construction of Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Queensland Government has confirmed.
Initial tests have found the 24,000sq m of cladding can catch alight under certain circumstances.
Further testing is set to be conducted over coming weeks, including attaching the cladding to a building and trying to set fire to it to find out how it acts under real-world conditions.
The Government is confident it does not present a safety risk to patients or staff, but extra measures have been put in place by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service to respond to any issue at the building.
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said she was confident plans in place would protect patients and staff if the building caught fire.
"If there was a fire and we were called to that today, there would be 18 firefighters, four pumpers and aerial and command vehicle immediately," she said.
"And that would be supported by other fire stations."
The tests on the PA Hospital were sparked by the Grenfell tower tragedy in the UK last month, in which flammable cladding has been blamed for the deaths of more than 80 people.
Health Minister Cameron Dick said he was confident the hospital was safe because it was a concrete structure and the cladding was attached to the outside of it, unlike the Grenfell tower in which insulation adjoined the cladding.
"Our paramount concern and our paramount consideration will continue to be the safety of patients and staff," he said.
Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said one private building was still being checked to see if combustible cladding had been used but he refused to publicly disclose any details about it.
He said the building owner had been notified but it was up to them to tell workers or residents.
"We will continue to update the public in respect of any buildings that may be of concern, but at this particularly point in time there is no evidence to suggest any other building should be of concern to residents or workers," Mr de Brenni said.