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Tuesday, 24 June 2003
Page: 17317


Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (4:44 PM) —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: Fitout of new customs building at Sydney Airport, NSW.

The Australian Customs Service proposes to fit out new leased premises at the Sydney airport. The Australian Customs Service proposes to consolidate its two main office sites within Sydney into one purpose-built facility located in the Sydney airport precinct. It has occupied its Pitt Street premises since 1992 and its Link Road premises since 1989. The proposed fitout will be in a new purpose-designed building, funded by the private sector, with the Australian Customs Service as the main tenant. The development is proposed for a 1.3 hectare site fronting Cooks River Drive in the international terminal precinct at Sydney airport.

The need for the proposed new premises is driven by the objective of the Australian Customs Service to consolidate its operational activities in Sydney in one location and the potential for operational benefits. In addition, the current premises at Link Road are expected to be demolished within the next few years to enable expansion of the Sydney international airport. The current lease for the Pitt Street premises expires in December 2004.

The proposed fitout works include integration of services into the base building and a tenant fitout of the base building, including electrical, mechanical, communications, security, fire and hydraulic services; a tenant fitout of the premises to meet specific requirements of the Australian Customs Service; and architecturally designed office accommodation, including the construction of a public counter on the ground floor. The developer has programmed construction of the building to commence in June this year, with completion by the end of June next year.

In its report, the Public Works Committee has recommended that the fitout of the new Customs building proceed. The Australian Customs Service accepts the recommendation of the committee. Subject to parliamentary approval, the fitout construction will commence in July next year, with occupation of the building planned to occur before the end of December 2004. The total fitout is estimated to cost $13.409 million. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its support, and I commend the motion to the House.