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Monday, 9 May 1994
Page: 474

(Question No. 1044)


Senator Coulter asked the Minister for Resources, upon notice, on 10 February 1994:

  (1) Has the Government considered the construction of a new building to house operations of the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO); if so, has a site at Narrabundah been chosen.

  (2) How many companies have been invited to tender for the construction of any such new premises.

  (3) Please provide details as to specific designs criteria with regard to energy saving construction techniques that would influence the final decision of any determining authority.

  (4) Can assurances be given that any design finally approved by a determining authority considering the construction of a building for the AGSO explores the possibility of utilising solar passive construction techniques.


Senator Collins —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) The Government considered the construction of a new building to house the operations of AGSO in the 1993/94 Budget which Parliament approved. The Government has selected a site at Narrabundah and intends to acquire the land subject to agreement later this year by Parliament (in the context of a PWC Hearing) and by the ACT Government (in the context of a variation to the Territory Plan).

  (2) Construction is scheduled to start in August 1995. AGSO intends to promote open and effective competition in selecting a construction firm by a pre-qualification process consistent with the Government's Construction Industry Reform Strategy and the Australian Construction Industry Pre-qualification Criteria. Expressions of interest will be publicly sought from which a short-list of several firms will be invited to submit tenders.

  (3) Preliminary design investigation to date have culminated in identifying a wide range of proposals aimed at achieving the Government's National Greenhouse Response Strategy (through the use of alternate energy sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions) and the Government's National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development (through the use of renewable energy rationalised to ensure optimum functionality).

  (4) Assurance can be given that the design will explore the possibility of using solar passive construction techniques.