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Thursday, 1 March 2012
Page: 2448


Mr GRAY (BrandSpecial Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity) (09:38): 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: HMAS Albatross redevelopment, Nowra, NSW.

HMAS Albatross is the centre of the Royal Australian Navy's maritime aviation capability, supporting the operations of one training helicopter squadron and two operational helicopter squadrons. This proposal, at an estimated cost of $192 million, plus GST, will upgrade and replace ageing, obsolete and in some cases potentially unsafe infrastructure to improve the functionality and capability of the facilities at HMAS Albatross to support Navy's training and operational requirements.

The proposal will provide:

(a) comprehensive engineering services upgrades;

(b) new and refurbished working accommodation;

(c) a new hot refuelling capability;

(d) works to provide increased future airside development space; and

(e) demolition of redundant facilities of HMAS Albatross

The capital invested in the project will have economic benefits for the Shoalhaven region and local industry, with significant opportunities for subcontractors and the construction industry over the next three years.

In its report the Public Works Committee has recommended that these works proceed. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to begin next year, with completion expected in mid-2015. 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.