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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 689


Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (11:53): On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the report of the committee relating to referrals made in October and November 2016.

Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e).

Mr BUCHHOLZ: I ask leave of the House to make a short statement in connection with the report.

Leave granted.

On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the committee's first report for 2017 on four proposals referred to the committee during the course of 2016. The first proposal is the construction and upgrade of indirect fire support facilities for a Defence project. This involves replacement of some artillery and related systems at eight locations around Australia. The proposed facilities include simulators, repair parts stores, shelters and hard stands. The project cost estimate is $57.1 million exclusive of GST.

The committee heard concerns that the proposal may lead to potential contamination from firefighting foams previously used at RAAF Base Williamtown, Puckapunyal and Lavarack Barracks.

The committee is satisfied that Defence has taken adequate prevention measures, but has recommended improving its consultation processes with affected communities.

The second proposal is the enhancement of security at Australian Federal Police facilities around Australia. Recent incidents at state police stations led the AFP to assess the vulnerability of its own premises. Eight locations have been selected for upgrades. The project cost estimate is $39.4 million exclusive of GST.

The report notes that some works were undertaken prior to the committee's inquiry. The commencement of works prior to parliamentary approval would normally be regarded as a serious matter. In this case, these works had a degree of urgency due to concerns for officer safety. The committee is satisfied that the works occurred in good faith.

The third proposal examined is the construction of a building for electronic warfare operation support at Defence's RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia. The works include laboratories, workshop areas, storage, some office space, a hard-stand area and car parking. The project cost estimate is $24.91 million exclusive of GST.

The final project examined is the Woomera range remediation facilities project. There are several aspects to this project—a new range control centre, a communications interface building, a maintenance and storage facility and 17 instrumentation and communication sites. The project cost estimate is $48.64 million exclusive of GST.

The committee recommends that the four proposed projects should proceed.

I commend the report to the House.