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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6535


Dr KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support and Parliamentary Secretary for Water) (11:17 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: Pawsey High Performance Computing Centre for SKA Science at Kensington, Western Australia.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research organisation, CSIRO, proposes to construct the Pawsey High Performance Computing Centre for Square Kilometre Array Science at Kensington, Perth, WA, at an estimated outturn cost of $66 million plus GST. Funded by the government’s Super Science Initiative, the Pawsey centre will provide a high-performance computing facility that supports a diverse range of high-end research, including radio astronomy, nanotechnology, biotechnology, geoinformatics, engineering, atomic physics and chemistry. It will also provide the computing support and data-processing capabilities required for the Australian SKA Pathfinder and Murchison Widefield Array radio telescopes.

The Pawsey centre is crucial to the government’s strategy to address the paucity of Australia’s high-ranked supercomputing systems. The HPC system will rank among the world’s top 20 supercomputers at the time of its commissioning in 2013. IVEC, an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, the Curtin University of Technology, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of WA will be responsible for the Pawsey centre’s operation, while CSIRO will own and maintain the Pawsey centre building. The Pawsey centre will be specifically designed to house the petascale HPC system and provide an appropriate and secure working environment for support staff. The building services and external infrastructure will incorporate energy conservation initiatives and comply with all relevant local, state and Commonwealth standards, codes and regulations.

In its report the PWC recommended that these works proceed. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction will commence in early 2011 and be completed by mid 2012, consistent with the HPC procurement, installation and commissioning program, which will be completed in 2013. On behalf of the government I thank the committee for its support and I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.