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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 8

(Question No. 4563)


Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 17 September 1986:

(1) What is the estimated cost of the (a) acquisition of the site, (b) construction of the college and supporting facilities and (c) equipment for the proposed Aviation Central Training College in Canberra.

(2) How many personnel will the college cater for.

(3) When will it be fully operational.

(4) Where is the proposed site.

(5) Have any offers been made to lease holders regarding compensation; if so, what are they.

(6) Has he investigated the feeling of lease holders regarding acquisition of land; if so, what was the result of the investigation.

(7) Is much or all of the land for the proposed college low-lying and subject to flooding; if so, what will be the additional cost of ensuring that the college's buildings are safe from inundation.

(8) Has there been an environmental impact study of the proposed site, especially its effect on water flow in the area; if not, why not.

(9) If there has been a study, is it available for public comment; if not, why not.

(10) If there has been no study, will he consider initiating one; if not, why not.

(11) Has he or his Department received any alternative proposals for the college site; if so (a) what were they and (b) who made them.

(12) Is he considering siting the college at an alternative site; if not, why not.

(13) What consultation with the aviation industry has he or his Department had about the establishment of the college, including the necessity to site the college in Canberra.

(14) If there has been no consultation within recent months, why not.

(15) Have trade unions or employee associations been consulted regarding the establishment of such a college; if so (a) which ones and (b) what were the results.

(16) Where is the present training carried out for those functions which the college would assume.

(17) How many personnel are involved in this training and at what cost.

(18) Is it possible to continue training at these localities; if not, why not.

(19) Are there any advantages in establishing the college at a locality closer to one of the major airports in Australia; if so, what are the reasons for proceeding with the construction of the college at Canberra.

(20) Will siting the college at Pialligo, A.C.T., cause difficulties in utilising staff from a major air traffic control facility as teaching staff and result in significantly higher salary and allowance expenditures through increased overtime and travelling claims; if so, what are the expected increases in these costs.

(21) If difficulties are not expected, how will the apparent shortfall in teaching and training staff available in the ACT be overcome.

(22) Will the type of air traffic control facility operating at Canberra Airport be able to be used for ``hands-on'' training of students or familiarisation with actual air traffic control facilities and conditions.

(23) Could this sort of training be better carried out at a central training college located at or near a larger airport; if not, why not.

(24) Will he postpone any acquisition of land or expenditure so that the need for a college can be more clearly defined especially in view of the present state of the Australian economy and the aviation industry; if not, why not.

(25) Is any expenditure on the college to be attributed to the industry for cost recovery purposes; if so, what amount.

(26) Will he allow the industry time to discuss the appropriateness of such expenditure and recommend through the appropriate channels its preferences on location, function and other aspects of the proposal, in view of the burden it will carry through the cost recovery scheme announced in the Budget; if not why not.


Mr Peter Morris —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The Department of Territories has advised that ``The estimated cost of acquisition of the site on withdrawal of the leases are of the order of $12,000 to $15,000. This amount covers fencing, timber treatment, pasture improvements and other compensable items.''

(b) construction of the College and supporting facilities is $10.8m at June 1986 prices and

(c) equipment for the proposed College in Canberra including the new Simulator is currently $8.9m. However, contracts are subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates.

(2) When operational, the College will cater, at full capacity for up to 270 personnel.

(3) The College is planned to be fully operational in late 1989.

(4) The proposed site is located on part of lots 20, 21 and 22, section 2 at Pialligo, A.C.T.

(5) The Department of Territories has advised that ``No offers have been made to lease holders regarding compensation''.

(6) The Department of Territories has advised that ``The affected lessees were notified of the intentions for the area in July 1985. They have, through their lawyers, objected to the proposals.''

(7) The Department of Housing and Construction has advised that

``In the regional context, the site is located above the `probable maximum flood' line for the Molonglo River. This represents the highest zone mapped in areal flooding projections and water inundations above this line would only occur given a 1 in 5000 year flood event.

In the local Pialligo area context, the site water conditions do not pose any serious construction problems or demand building solutions that involve costs above normal allowances to ensure a building free from inundation.

(8) and (9) No. The Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment has advised that the site identified by the NCDC in Pialligo is appropriate for use as an Aviation College and, as no apparent physical, biological or visual impact will result from the construction, an Environmental Impact Study is not required. The Department of Housing and Construction has advised that drainage works for the proposed site will involve only the re-routing and enclosure of an existing open storm water drain for the extent of the site.

(10) No. On advice from the Department of Arts, Heritage and Environment, my Department did not consider it appropriate that a study be initiated.

(11) A number of alternative proposals for the College site were received by my Department

The proposals were as follows

1979/83 Consultation between my Department and the A.C.T. Schools Authority regarding the possibility of utilising surplus school accommodation for the Central Training College in Canberra and suburbs

Late 1981. From the New South Wales State Government Superannuation Board, owner of Morrisset House, Queanbeyan, offering use of Morrisset House for the Central Training College on a lease basis

17 March 1982. An expression of interest by Cooma/Monaro Shire Council that the facility be located in Cooma

22 March 1982. Suggestion from the Principal, Riverina College of Advanced Education regarding the possibility of using the Goulburn Campus for the Central Training College, collocating it with the N.S.W. Police Training School

23 June 1982. Correspondence from Ern Browne Real Estate proposing locating the Central Training College in a purpose designed building in Canberra City for lease by the Department

19 November 1982. Suggestion from Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd that the Bruce High Technology centre would be suitable as a site for the new College

27 August 1985. Suggestion from the Queanbeyan City Council that a site for the Central Training College could be made available in East Queanbeyan

23 September 1985. Representation by the current member for Eden/Monaro on behalf of Mr M. Buggy, owner of Morrisset House, Queanbeyan, requesting consideration be given to locating the new College in Morrisset House on a lease or perhaps lease/purchase basis.

(12) No. My Department did consider siting the College at alternative locations, but the site at Pialligo was selected for operational and cost effectiveness reasons.

(13) and (14) My Department wrote to members of the Aviation Industry Advisory Council (AVIAC) on 2 & 3 May 1986 outlining details of the proposals and indicating the intention to seek funds in the recent Budget for the work. The details included information on the scope, timing, justification and cost of the project.

The project was discussed at the meeting of the Committee of Advisers to AVIAC on 22 May 1986 and the need for further consultation was considered at that meeting. Subsequently, my Department wrote to members of the Committee of Advisers on 15 July offering to further discuss the proposal. This offer was repeated on 17 September when Committee members were advised of the intention to hold discussions between my Department and interested members of the Industry. The invitation was extended to all eight members of the Committee of which four responded, with three declining the invitation.

(15) Yes. Officers from my Department have been in consultation with unions and employee associations

(a) Those consulted were

Civil Air Operations Officers Association of Australia

Administrative and Clerical Officers Association

Australian Public Service Association

Professional Radio and Electronics Institute of Australasia

Association of Drafting, Supervisory and Technical Employees.

(b) Associations consulted support the need for the new College but do not support its location in Canberra.

(16) Air Traffic control and Flight Service training is currently undertaken in Government owned premises at Henty House, 499 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Training for Search and Rescue officers is carried out in leased accommodation at Cooleman Court Weston ACT. Airworthiness training currently takes place in leased accommodation at 607 Swanston Street Melbourne. Administrative and Automatic Data Processing training are carried out in leased premises in Canberra City.

(17) My Department has advised as at 13 October 1986, the following staff were involved in training and support functions which will be assumed by the Central Training College

full time training staff: 35

part time training staff: 5

full time support staff: 18

part time support staff: 3

Salary costs associated with those staff are estimated at $1.54M annually.

(18) Facilities currently being used by Air Traffic control and Flight Service training schools in Henty House Melbourne are neither functionally nor structurally suitable for upgrading to accommodate new generation Air Traffic Control and Flight Service simulators which are due for delivery in September 1988.

Facilities for the other training functions included in the proposal, whilst interim in nature and not purpose designed, could continue to be used for training purposes.

(19) Little advantage would be gained in establishing the College closer to one of the major airports in Australia as there are few operational facilities peculiar to major centres which cannot be found at Canberra Airport. However most operational facilities will be fully simulated by the new training simulator equipment to be installed in the Central Training College. In addition, 50 per cent of all Air Traffic Control and Flight Service operational training is carried out in the field, permitting sufficient opportunity for additional familiarisation with the airspace of the Region to which trainees will be ultimately posted. Locating the College in Canberra will also allow Central Office staff to fully utilise the new simulator equipment to develop new operational procedures and doctrine.

(20) No. Permanent staff will cover foreseeable training commitments apart from occasional specialist courses where an instructor may be required from a Regional centre for short periods only.

(21) Teaching staff currently attached to the Central Training College in Melbourne will either be relocated to Canberra with the new College or transferred to postings in the field. Any shortfall in teaching staff as a result of relocation will be overcome by transferring experienced field staff to Canberra.

(22) No. Ab-initio trainee ``hands on'' training is conducted on the simulator at the Central Training College as it is inappropriate that this training be carried out in an operational environment. Additional ``on the job'' training is then carried out at the station of final posting. This does not represent any change from existing procedures.

(23) No. There is no significant additional benefit to be gained from carrying out ab-initio training at a Central Training College adjacent to a larger airport.

(24) No. My Department has advised that the need for the new College has been clearly defined. In addition, annual expenditure for the proposal has been reduced to a minimum commensurate with the completion of the new simulator building in time for the anticipated delivery of equipment in September 1988.

(25) The Training College will provide training for Air Traffic Control, flight Service, Administrative and Automatic Data Processing Staff, which are wholly or partly attributable functions for cost recovery purposes. The College will also provide training for Search and Rescue and Airworthiness staff which are not attributable functions. Training for these functions is a necessary part of the Department's activities and the provision of a new training college is the most economic way to carry out that activity. Of the estimated $10.8M expenditure approximately $8.4M will be attributable for cost recovery purposes. This will be offset by reductions in expenditure on the existing training facilities.

(26) Previous consultation with Industry has provided the opportunity to discuss the appropriateness of expenditure for the proposal. As the new College will be specifically for the training of Departmental staff in operational functions, aspects of the proposal such as location and function are not for consideration by the Industry.