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Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Page: 12216


Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance) (12:17): I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for consideration and report: Project AIR7000 Phase 2B—Maritime Patrol Aircraft Replacement Project.

The Department of Defence is proposing to provide new facilities, upgraded infrastructure and airfield works to support the introduction of the new Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft. The AP-3C Orion has served the Australian Defence Force well but due to its age is difficult to continue to support and its systems are facing obsolescence. It will be replaced by the new P-8A Poseidon aircraft with the first aircraft scheduled to be delivered in late 2016. New facilities are required in order to support the new aircraft.

The facilities will be at the Main Operating Base, Royal Australian Air Force Base Edinburgh; and forward operating bases RAAF bases Darwin, Pearce and Townsville. The project will also refurbish the existing torpedo maintenance facility and new explosive ordnance storage facilities at HMAS Stirling. Facilities located at the other bases will provide logistic support for aircraft deployments and explosive ordnance storage.

The proposed works will support Australia's advanced maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and response capability. The estimated cost of the project is $707.9 million, excluding GST. This includes provision for management and design, construction, furniture, fittings and equipment, contingencies and escalation. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is scheduled to commence in late 2015 and is planned to be completed on all sites by late 2020. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.