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Thursday, 27 March 2003
Page: 13772


Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (11:31 AM) —I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, it is expedient to carry out the following proposed work which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works and on which the committee has duly reported to Parliament: Proposed fitout of new leased premises for the Bureau of Meteorology at Docklands, Victoria.

The Bureau of Meteorology proposes to fit out new leased premises at 700 Collins Street, Docklands, in Melbourne, Victoria.

The Head Office of the Bureau of Meteorology has been accommodated in its current premises at 150 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, since 1974, and its Victoria regional office collocated to the same building in 1986.

The existing premises of the bureau have a limited capacity to cope with the future demands of an organisation, which operates one of the largest supercomputer complexes in Australia. In addition, the current lease expires at the end of March 2004 with no option to renew.

Since the bureau is required to complete a move to new accommodation by 1 April 2004, it has entered into a precommitment lease with the private sector developer of the 700 Collins Street building, which is purpose designed for the bureau as the major tenant and is currently under construction.

The proposed fit-out will configure the interior of the new building to match the operational needs of the organisation. It will create a general office environment to contemporary standards supported by special purpose facilities, advanced information technology installation and appropriate security. The building and fit-out will also conform to high standards of energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact.

The total space to be fitted out is 16,900 square metres. The completed work space will offer accommodation for more than 800 staff, meteorological trainees, visiting scientists and specialist consultants.

This proposal covers the fit-out of the new leased premises for the Bureau of Meteorology encompassing: a general office fit-out; central computing facility and supporting infrastructure; communications and computing infrastructure to allow the bureau to fulfil the obligations of Australia under the Convention of the World Meteorological Organisation with regard to the designation of Melbourne as a world meteorological centre and a hub for regional telecommunications; operational facilities for the provision of meteorological and hydrological services; meteorological equipment standards and maintenance areas; the National Meteorological Library; the Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre; the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre; and corporate car parking.

The estimated cost of the fit-out works is approximately $22.8 million, which will be funded out of the Bureau of Meteorology budget appropriation.

In its report, the Joint Standing Committee on Public Works recommended that this project proceed subject to its recommendations.

The Bureau of Meteorology accepts the recommendations of the committee.

Subject to parliamentary approval, the target date for commencement of the integrated fit-out is August 2003.

On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its support. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.