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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19211

Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (1:47 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: Redevelopment of the Australian Institute of Sport, Bruce, ACT.

The Australian Sports Commission proposes a major redevelopment of the Australian Institute of Sport at Bruce in the Australian Capital Territory. The Australian Sports Commission was formally established by the Australian Sports Commission Act 1989, which brought together the existing Australian Institute of Sport and other government sport related functions. This amalgamated the delivery agencies for the twin objectives of the government in sport—namely, excellence in sports performances by Australians and improved participation in quality sports activities by Australians.

On 24 April 2001, the Prime Minister and the then Minister for Sport and Tourism announced the new 10-year plan of the government for Australian sport: Backing Australia's Sporting Ability—A More Active Australia. The plan demonstrates the commitment of the Howard government to maintaining our level of sporting success and is backed by funding totalling close to $550 million over the four years to 2005 to be delivered by the Australian Sports Commission. The commission has evaluated its capital investment needs for the next 20 years, distilling the most important and pressing of those needs into a four-year investment plan. This plan requires a major investment in improved facilities to redress significant shortcomings at the Australian Institute of Sport at Bruce.

The longer term investment strategy and the four-year plan will re-establish the Bruce campus as the national centre of excellence in sport. The four-year investment plan comprises a mix of facility replacement and new facility capabilities. Key facilities problems directly impact on the ability of the commission to train elite athletes, safeguard their welfare and operate effectively as the national centre for excellence in sports development and education. While uniquely suited to elite training purposes, the Bruce facilities are now about 20 years old and comparable to the standard of facilities found in regional sports centres. Substantial infrastructure and facility investment is required to enable the innovation and continuous improvement needed to maintain the campus status as the national centre for excellence for the development of sport in Australia.

This proposal includes the following components: new residential, dining and athlete education facilities; an Australian Institute of Sport service hub, which will incorporate a strength and conditioning gymnasium, a new indoor testing facility, a new indoor training facility, a hydrotherapy recovery centre and a coaches services centre; upgrading of technology features and airconditioning of training halls and the Australian Institute of Sport arena; an extension of the gymnastics hall; a combat sports facility; an aquatic testing and training facility; improvements to the existing pool complex; a new sports development and education centre; modernisation of the Australian Sports Commission building; improvements to the rowing centre; and upgrading of campus trunk engineering and support infrastructure.

The estimated out-turn cost of the works is $65.4 million. In its report, the Public Works Committee has recommended that this project proceed. The Australian Sports Commission accepts the recommendation of the committee. Subject to parliamentary approval, the works are scheduled to commence in early 2004 and to be completed in mid-2007. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its support, and I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.