Gallery responds to Comcare investigation

A Comcare investigator has concluded that there is no evidence to support allegations that information was deliberately withheld from him.

Mr Robert Wray was appointed by Comcare in December 2004 to investigate allegations that documents that could have influenced the findings of an earlier investigation had been concealed from him.

'The Gallery was pleased to receive Mr Wray’s report and has decided in the interests of accountability and transparency to make it publicly accessible by posting it on its website, Deputy Director, Alan Froud said today.

Mr Wray’s report includes two recommendations. The first requests Comcare to conduct a review to assess if recommendations made in Mr Wray’s earlier investigation have been fully implemented. The second seeks another expert opinion on the possible association of security staff cancer illnesses with the Gallery environment.

'The Gallery has been actively implementing the recommendations of Mr Wray’s first report. A steering committee comprising representatives of Comcare and the Union representing the staff, and the Gallery are all participating in this process,' Mr Froud said.

The Gallery has confidence in a report by Health Services Australia, which found no link between the Gallery’s working environment and the incidence of cancer among security staff. However, it would seek a second expert opinion as recommended by Mr Wray in order to allay any possible lingering concerns about the state of health and safety in the Gallery, he said.

Mr Froud said that he noted that Mr Wray also speculated on the state of the building in the mid-1990s. This was despite the absence of supporting evidence. He said in recent years the Gallery had undertaken an extensive refurbishment of its air conditioning systems and would continue its long established practice of testing air quality to ensure the environment was safe.  

For further information Ken Begg 0412 174 319