Queanbeyan Hospital cladding to be removed

Work will begin this week at the Queanbeyan Hospital to remove potentially dangerous cladding from the exterior of the building.

NSW Health announced in September the hospital had been identified as having the combustible cladding.

Of the roughly 4600 NSW Health buildings Queanbeyan Hospital is one of 115 buildings either requiring remedial work or further assessment to decide if work is needed.

The assessment process has found 97.5 per cent of NSW Health buildings do not contain the non-compliant cladding and will not require remedial work.

Construction of Queanbeyan Hospital was completed in 2008 when it is understood the cladding was installed.

NSW Health Infrastructure chief Sam Sangster said in September the building received a Building Code of Australia certificate in 2008 meaning it was compliant with relevant standards at that time.

The process of assessing buildings was undertaken by NSW Health in the aftermath of London’s Grenfell Tower tragedy. It is believed combustible cladding was responsible in that instance for the fire that killed more than 80 people.

NSW Health Infrastructure released a statement announcing the works that are expected to take two weeks to complete.

“Expert advice has confirmed that cladding on the Queanbeyan Hospital does not meet contemporary fire safety standards,” the statement read.

“It will be completely removed and replaced.

“There are no concerns beyond the identified cladding and hospital operations will not be impacted.”

General manager of the Queanbeyan Hospital Nicola Yates welcomed the news Queanbeyan would be one of the first facilities in the state to receive remedial work.

“Since [the cladding] has been identified we’ve been managing the risk and hearing the cladding will be taken off and replaced is excellent news for the hospital, we can just get the work done and move on,” Ms Yates said.

“We’ve been working on putting the plans in place to make sure the facility got extra security and extra fire patrols until we got confirmation the work was going ahead.”

NSW Health expect to release a report in the next eight weeks on the remaining buildings of the 115 identified detailing which ones require work.