SIXTEEN lead sources at new WA children's hospital
Sixteen sources of lead contamination have been identified at the new $1.2 billion Perth Children's Hospital, as well as 3012 defects at the site, but the premier denies there has been a cover up.
Documents were released by the Health Department following a Freedom of Information application from the Labor opposition, revealing attempts to resolve lead contamination in the water had been unsuccessful and a mechanical clean was required.
It was also revealed the project had significant breaches of plumbing regulations, and faulty stainless steel pipe work required replacement.
Labor's health spokesman Roger Cook accused the state government of stringing the public along until the March election, with the facility already delayed more than one year.
"What these documents show is that while the government is saying everything is under control, it was far from it," he told reporters on Monday.
"They had significant problems at the hospital - problems dealing with lead in the water, problems dealing with defects, problems dealing with the fire alarm systems at the hospital - and it shows the government was simply in a state of spin and trying to keep the truth away from the WA public."
Labor has also continued to query whether the lead contamination issue is in fact limited to the hospital rather than being a wider problem in the area.
Premier Colin Barnett dismissed the 3012 defects but conceded the lead issue was a serious concern.
"There was literally thousands of defects but that can relate to a smudge on the paintwork, a chip on a piece of carpentry - they are just matters that need to be fixed," he told reporters.
"The serious issue is obviously the detection of lead, that's the thing that is holding up the opening of the hospital."
Mr Barnett said he did not see a reason for the information to be kept a secret but insisted when the facility finally opened it would arguably be the most advanced children's hospital in the world.
"Of course I'm concerned. I've stated it's probably the most frustrating thing I've experienced since I've been premier," he said.
"It's going to get there, but it's just taking a long time."