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Thursday, 13 March 2008
Page: 1681


Dr KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support) (9:16 AM) —I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for consideration and report: Refurbishment of staff apartments—Australian Embassy complex, Tokyo, Japan.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade proposes to refurbish 43 staff apartments at the Australian Embassy complex in Tokyo, Japan. This proposal was referred to the Public Works Committee on 21 June 2007, but the reference lapsed when the previous committee ceased to exist with the prorogation of parliament on 15 October 2007.

The Australian government built the existing embassy complex and has occupied it since 1990. The complex comprises the chancery, apartments and recreational facilities. The proposal is to undertake internal refurbishment of all 43 staff apartments. The works will include upgrading building services. They will ensure compliance with current standards and building codes and enhanced amenity for tenants, as well as protecting the government’s long-term commercial investment and rental value in the property. The Australian government owns the embassy complex, which was valued at $258.25 million in 2006. The estimated cost of the proposal is $22 million. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence in early 2009, with completion in 2010. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.