PM 'unaware of ceiling collapse drama'
THREE parliamentary staffers have been injured, with two taken to hospital, after ceiling tiles collapsed in the Commonwealth Government offices in the Brisbane CBD.
Paramedics say they were called to the 36th level at Waterfront Place on Eagle Street at 10.50am to reports of three people with minor injuries.
Two were taken to hospital.
The collapse happened during a Federal Cabinet meeting in the same building.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is believed to have been in an adjoining room at the time of the collapse.
Inspector Daniel Bragg said all available emergency personnel were sent to attend as a precaution.
"When we heard there was a commotion on the same level (as the Prime Minister), no chances were taken," he said.
Final update: fallen ceiling panels, Eagle St #Brisbane. 2 women with minor injuries being transported to St Andrews Private Hospital.— Queensland Ambulance (@QldAmbulance) October 25, 2016
"I'm advised he Prime Minister isn't even aware of he matter. He was in an adjoining room. I don't think there were any grave concerns over more than what it could've been. I think they realised it was a structural matter not a criminal matter."
The 36th level houses the offices of some of Queensland's federal senators.
Queensland Fire and Emergency said that there was no structural damage sustained to the building and have since left.
The building is the subject of heightened security with federal and local police patrolling due to the presence of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The drama comes after news the federal government has put up $10 million to ensure Brisbane's Cross River Rail project is properly planned.
But Mr Turnbull would not say how much Commonwealth money might be offered down the track.
Mr Turnbull says it will help ensure the $5.4 billion link is properly integrated with other transport solutions.
He says the state government must work with the Brisbane City Council, which is proposing its own Brisbane Metro rail project, to meet the city's growing transport needs.
Three people with minor injuries after ceiling panels collapsed in Brisbane Commonwealth Offices. Unclear if PM was inside at time. pic.twitter.com/iE4itfNGIa— Josh Bavas (@JoshBavas) October 25, 2016
"The projects are not competing, they're complementary," Mr Turnbull told reporters, standing alongside Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad urged the Queensland Opposition to back the project.
"Cross River Rail is our highest priority infrastructure project which will fundamentally transform South East Queensland," Ms Trad said.
"This is a city-shaping project that will be a driver of new jobs, better housing and increased productivity.
"The cooperation of the Turnbull Government will help expedite the completion of the initial stages of Cross River Rail and is the next step towards fully funding this project.
"I'm delighted Malcolm Turnbull has come on board and agreed to partner with us moving forward."
Ms Trad called on Tim Nicholls to join their federal colleagues and embrace the opportunity of Cross River Rail.
"We are taking the politics out of building Cross River Rail," Ms Trad said in a statement.
"The Turnbull Government has recognised its potential and so has the Brisbane City Council.