Ruptured relations: tank explosion gets political
UPDATE: LENDLEASE claims the construction worker who was reportedly swept up by a tsunami-like wall of water after a water tank ruptured at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital site was an uninjured "eyewitness."
"While the Lendlease employee was an eyewitness, they did not receive any injuries. For this reason alone their status was not included in any media statements. Safety is Lendlease's number one priority," a Lendlease spokeswoman told the Daily this afternoon.
The Daily understands the worker was moving past the tank when it ruptured,
The ABC reported yesterday following an RTI investigation that the man had been "swept away" by the wall of water that washed Coast mother Lou O'Brien's car carrying her and her two children off Kawana Way when the tank ruptured last October.
State Member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie weighed in on the debate this afternoon, condemning the actions of State Health Minister Cameron Dick for not being clear about the employee's involvement.
"He had a perfect opportunity while he was on the Sunshine Coast (this week to name the new hospital's cancer ward) to come clean," Mr Bleijie said.
However Health Minister Cameron Dick hit back saying if anyone Lendlease was responsible.
"All media statements and information in relation to the tank rupture were provided by LendLease, not Queensland Health, at the time of the incident," Mr Dick said.
"I think everyone is sick of Mr Bleijie playing politics in regards to this hospital's construction.
"He needs to get behind this fabulous community asset and the dedicated team of Sunshine Coast locals who are working hard to deliver it."
The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service would not comment further today, saying it was a matter for Lendlease.
The ABC reported yesterday that SCHHS chief executive Kevin Hegarty had confirmed the tank failed due to design-related causes, an assessment made by an independent engineer engaged by Lendlease.
Mr Hegarty said the design fault would be rectified in new tanks and that he had been advised by Lendlease that the four remaining tanks, while not in use at present, had been independently inspected, checked and approved and were due to be put to use soon.
EARLIER: SOME seven months after a water tower at the Sunshine Coast Hospital collapsed - sweeping Currimundi mother Lou O'Brien and her twin children off the road - an RTI request by the ABC has revealed the family weren't the only people caught in the deluge.
In fact a Lendlease employee was also caught in the wave of water which witnesses said looked like a tsunami.
The ABC filed a Right to Information request for emails between Queensland Health and Lendlease staff.
"A Lendlease staff member has confirmed he was walking in the direction of the car park along Kawana Way ... albeit he was swept up in the water deluge," an email from Lendlease to Queensland Health said.
The email was uncovered by the RTI search.
Another email sent out by LendLease 24 hours later suggests the company was unsure if its staff were all okay for a full day after the incident.
"Great news and as we expected," it stated. "We have lifted the tank and no-one is underneath. It took a crane and two excavators.
"Now in [the] process of cutting it up with another machine with shears so they can remove it. Happy days."