Glenside Hospital Redevelopment

23 Jul 2008 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Mental Health and Substance abuse a question about the Glenside redevelopment.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: During budget estimates, the minister confirmed that the demolition of the 1920s laundry building to make way for temporary accommodation for project staff was funded as part of the mental health budget and also said:

I have been advised that the demolition is part of the overall project which comes under the funding of $107.9 million. Letters received by Liberal members from the Public Works Committee confirm that the project has not been referred and the demolition of the laundry did not constitute a 'public work'.

My questions for the minister are: will she advise how much of the Glenside Hospital redevelopment is to occur before the project is referred to the Public Works Committee; and, if more work is to occur before such time, will she provide details?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (14:39): We did receive a number of inquiries concerning the Glenside redevelopment and the demolition of the shed in relation to the Public Works Committee. Members would be well aware that, in terms of the redevelopment of Glenside, a number of activities are included, about which I have spoken at length already in this council, so I will not go through the detail. It includes: the building of a new world-class 129-bed hospital; a 15-bed intermediate care facility; 40 supported accommodation places; a residential precinct, which obviously incorporates affordable housing; a cultural precinct involving the Adelaide film and screen hub; a village-style retail precinct; a commercial development fostering employment opportunities; and a purpose-designed open space and community park that I have talked about.

These activities obviously have critical interdependencies, but they display different delivery time frames. Further, in the case of the screen hub, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet is the sponsor for that agency. A common element to the activities is that they need to occur on a hospital site that must remain operational at all times, so we are not closing down those services.

Consequently, in order to facilitate the undertaking of those activities, a range of enablement and transitional activities are required. Clearly, a number of complexities are involved to be able to deliver complex operational services and transitional arrangements. SA Health has engaged at an early stage the Crown Solicitor's office to provide advice during the project so as to ensure that operations are maintained until the new facility is functional, that the various activities are delivered to agreed time frames and that all required project approvals—including Public Works Committee acquittals—are adhered to as well.

During April 2008, the Glenside project director formally sought clarification regarding the requirements for the Public Works Committee acquittals for a number of the redevelopment activities. This strategy, amongst other things, noted that all health-related services currently operating on the cultural precinct (precinct 2) need to be vacated from that precinct by March 2009 in order to facilitate the commencement of the construction of the film hub; that the most feasible option was to bring a transportable building owned by SA Health onto the site in precinct 5 for temporary accommodation of the relevant health services and staff; and that the optimal location on the campus for the transportable required the demolition of an unused building. The Crown Solicitor's advice is that the vacating of all health-related services from precinct 2—the proposed site for the screen hub—does not require Public Works Committee approval. I am advised that this activity does not in itself involve construction for the purposes of the Parliamentary Committees Act 1991.

Furthermore, the Crown Solicitor advised that the demolition of an existing building in another precinct and the location of a transportable on that site for the purposes of providing temporary accommodation for the relocated health services and staff is a public work, but is such that the amount to be applied for the construction is less than $4 million and therefore, I am informed, is not referred to the Public Works Committee by force of subsection 16A(1).

Finally, the Crown Solicitor advised that the relocation works should not be characterised as forming a part of the screen hub public work—or any other public work forming part of the Glenside redevelopment project—which will itself be subject to a subsequent Public Works Committee inquiry that will have three acquittals processes, which I do not think I need to go into here. In terms of the specific funding details requested, I am happy to take that on notice and bring back a response.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:44): I have a supplementary question: will the minister give an indication of when the Public Works Committee process will be engaged as part of this project?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (14:44): I am happy to take that on notice and bring back a response as to the exact timetable.