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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6534


Dr KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support and Parliamentary Secretary for Water) (11:12 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: Construction of housing for the Department of Defence at Muirhead, Darwin, Northern Territory.

The Defence Housing Authority Australia, DHA, proposes to develop stage 1 of a 167-hectare, former Department of Defence site at Muirhead, Darwin, Northern Territory. It is intended that the site be developed in stages over the next eight to 10 years.

Stage 1 will develop 166 residential lots to deliver up to an expected 178 dwellings with DHA constructing 50 houses to accommodate defence families in Darwin. Under a memorandum of understanding between DHA and the Northern Territory government, 25 lots will be offered to the Northern Territory government to support its affordable and community housing initiatives. The remaining lots will be sold to the public. The proposed development is part of ongoing activity to replace houses that do not satisfy the current standards of defence housing. Community standard defence housing is vital to Defence attracting and retaining skilled personnel.

DHA will develop the site as an economically viable, sustainable and affordable master-planned community. The lot layout and house design will recognise Darwin’s climate and unique lifestyle, paying particular attention to minimising energy consumption. Site development and housing construction will be governed by DHA through its contractors and in accordance with DHA’s national specification covering housing performance and design. The gross outlay for stage 1 is estimated at $41.4 million inclusive of GST with net costs reduced through the sale of surplus lots.

In its report, the Public Works Committee has recommended that these works proceed subject to the recommendations of the committee. Defence Housing Australia accepts and will implement these recommendations. Subject to parliamentary approval, the stage 1 estate development works will commence in March 2011, with the construction of the 50 homes to be completed by June 2012. On behalf of the government I thank the committee for its support and I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.