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Tuesday, 5 November 1985
Page: 1606

(Question No. 179)


Senator Lewis asked the Minister representing the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services, upon notice, on 16 April 1985:

(1) What Commonwealth Government leased or owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory have had asbestos fire-retardant material removed.

(2) What, if any, Commonwealth Government leased or owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory have asbestos fire-retardant material yet to be removed.

(3) What, if any, fire-retardant material is being used to replace asbestos fire-retardant material in Commonwealth leased or owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory.

(4) What provision is made in Commonwealth leased or owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory for fire isolation doors or flaps in airconditioning trunking to prevent the spreading of fire or smoke from compartment to compartment; how many buildings have such devices fitted; and when will such fire prevention devices be fitted in all airconditioning trunking in Commonwealth leased or owned buildings in the ACT.

(5) What Commonwealth leased or owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory are fitted with fire sprinkler systems and how many are yet to be fitted.


Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question. It should be noted that parts (3), (4) and (5) of the question were prepared in consultation with the Department of Housing and Construction as it has the relevant information and technical expertise in these areas:

(1) Commonwealth Government leased and owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory under my Department's control where asbestos fire-retardant material has been removed are listed at Attachment A.

(2) Commonwealth Government leased and owned buildings in the Australian Capital Territory under my Department's control where asbestos fire-retardant material has been identified and has yet to be removed are listed at Attachment B.

(3) Where asbestos-containing fire retardant material is being replaced, alternative asbestos-free fire retardant materials such as vermiculite plasters, silicate conglomerates and mineral ceramic materials are used.

(4) Commonwealth owned and leased premises in the Australian Capital Territory generally comply with the requirements of the Australian Capital Territory Building Manual. The manual requires that door openings in fire rated walls which separate fire compartments are fitted with fire doors of fire shutters. It also requires air handling ducts (trunking) penetrating such walls to be designed in accordance with the relevant Australian standard. This Standard requires fire dampers (flaps) to be installed within the ducts at the wall penetration in certain circumstances. Approximately 418 buildings (71 leased) occupied by the Commonwealth Government are fitted with such devices. Based on Department of Housing and Construction records there are no known instances where any Commonwealth owned or leased premises in the Australian Capital Territory are not fitted with the fire safety devices as required. It should be noted that fire dampers are installed to resist the spread of fire rather than the spread of smoke.

(5) There are 192 Commonwealth owned or leased buildings in the Australian Capital Territory protected by fire sprinkler systems. The Department of Housing and Construction has recommended to the relevant client department the installation of a sprinkler system as being appropriate for the protection of approximately 9 additional buildings in the Australian Capital Territory.

Attachment A

COMMONWEALTH OWNED AND LEASED BUILDINGS WHERE ASBESTOS MATERIAL HAS BEEN REMOVED

Owned Buildings

Administrative Building

Anzac Park East Building

East Block

Leased Buildings

Electricity House

Qantas House

Tasman House

Wales Centre

Attachment B

COMMONWEALTH OWNED AND LEASED BUILDINGS WHERE ASBESTOS MATERIAL HAS YET TO BE REMOVED

Owned Buildings

Acton House

Albemarle Building

Bristol Building

Cameron Offices

Casey House

Civic Offices South Building

Deakin Offices

Edmund Barton Building

Hinkler Building

Juliana House

NBSL Laboratory, Downer

Treasury Building

Leased Buildings

Bank House

62-64 Colbee Court, Phillip

Cooleman Court

1 Farrell Place, City

GIO Building

Hawker Post Office

39 Jardine Street, Kingston

25 London Circuit, City

Macarthur House

Medibank Building

MLC Building, City

14 Mort Street, City

11 National Circuit, Barton

NCDC Building

7 Neptune Street, Phillip

Northbourne House

Prudential Building

Reserve Bank Building