The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) has received the findings of the Wray Report into the actions taken by the NGA to address recommendations from two previous Comcare investigations.
The main message after eighteen months of investigation is that international experts brought in by Mr Robert Wray have found that: ‘there was no reason to suggest that the NGA environment constituted a threat to the health of the employees working in the building.’
This finding is reassuring given the level of speculation and allegation made against the Gallery and its staff by certain individuals.
The Wray Report states that the NGA has made satisfactory progress with the implementation of recommendations made in the previous Comcare reports.
It is hardly surprising that after eighteen months of investigation, and four other reports into the Gallery’s air conditioning system, some matters have been found to be unsatisfactory. We will work to improve any deficiencies in our current processes and have engaged the National Safety Council of Australia to assist us in this regard.
In those areas where we agree with Mr Wray that we could have done better, we accept responsibility. I have pledged to the Parliament that where matters need to be fixed, we will fix them. Quite clearly we are doing so, and in accordance with agreed timelines.
There are seven recommendations to the report, and we accept all of them. We have no quarrel with Mr Wray’s recommendations, but we part company where he says we have not learned by our experience.
It is surely illogical to say that the same staff who have ensured a building which is safe for its employees have learned little about occupational health and safety. Where our processes are not good enough, we will improve them. But I commend our staff in the face of allegations, mostly unsubstantiated and unwarranted, on their efforts on behalf of their colleagues and our visitors to the NGA.
The NGA of Australia looks forward to working with Comcare and the CPSU to assist in making sure that all of Mr Wray’s recommendations are implemented.
2 June 2003