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Wednesday, 8 December 2004
Page: 90


Senator FERRIS (3:51 PM) —On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the following reports of 2004:

5th report of 2004—Proposed development of land at Lee Point Darwin for Defence and private housing

6th report of 2004—Fit-out of new leased premises for the Department of Prime Minister, 1 National Circuit, Barton ACT

7th report of 2004—Fit-out of new leased premises for the Attorney-General's Department, 3-5 National Circuit, Barton ACT

8th report of 2004—New East Building for the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

9th report of 2004—Development of a new collection storage facility for the National Library of Australia, Hume ACT


Senator FERRIS —I move:

That the Senate take note of the reports.

I seek leave to incorporate a tabling statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Mr President, on behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works I present five reports, numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of 2004, on matters which were considered in the last Parliament, but not tabled before the dissolution. I will deal briefly with each report.

Proposed Development of Land at Lee Point in Darwin for the Defence Housing Authority

The first of the reports is the Proposed Development of Land at Lee Point in Darwin for the Defence Housing Authority. This work seeks to provide fully serviced allotments to allow for construction of community-standard housing to satisfy Defence's accommodation requirements and to allow for an integrated community development by offering dwelling sites for public sale. The estimated cost of the proposed project is $41, 381,480. The Committee has agreed that the work should proceed; however, it has made a number of recommendations, including:

the possibility of providing a purpose built community centre within the development;

investigation of design measures which might minimise the use of air conditioning in the houses;

the development and implementation of protocols for the efficient use of energy in tropical regions;

the placement of details of the planning and execution of the development on DHA's website and a program of community consultation; and

the provision to the committee of periodic information on design and costs as the project progresses.

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Fit-out of new leased premises for the Attorney-General's Department

The Committee's 6th report of 2004 examined the Fit-out of the New Leased Premises for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet at 1 National Circuit, Barton, ACT. The purpose of the work is to provide increased space and security in the new leased premises. The Committee considered the fit-out only, not the lease of the building which, under the PWC Act, does not come under the scrutiny of the Committee. The estimated cost of the fit-out is $23 million. A number of issues were explored by the Committee in the public hearing, including:

The compliance of the roof with National Capital Authority requirements;

Traffic management;

Fire safety and evacuation procedures in the design of the fit-out;

The extent of staff consultation and the provision of child care facilities;

The degree of energy efficiency in the design and the compliance with the standards of the Australian Greenhouse Office; and the capacity of the design to accommodate growth in staffing over the 15 years of the lease of the building.

The Committee was satisfied with the responses of the department to its questions and recommended that the work proceed.

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Fit-out of new leased premises for the Attorney-General's Department

The Committee's 7th report deals with a very similar work to the 6th report, the Fit-out of the New Leased Premises for the Attorney-General's Department at 3-5 National Circuit, Barton, ACT. This work is also a fit-out for a 15 year lease at a cost of $23 million. The work was presented to the Committee at a very early stage and the Committee expressed concern at the lack of detail in relation to both cost and design that was available to it at this stage. The Committee, therefore, has formally requested that it be updated on costs and design at a time closer to construction.

With the provisions that the Department keep the Committee informed, it has recommended that the work proceed.

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New East Building for the Australian War Memorial

The 8th report for 2004 deals with a work for the construction of a New East Building for the Australian War Memorial. This building will accommodate 65 staff, provide storage for the Research Centre collections and facilities for the photographic laboratories and workshop. The new area will free space in the existing building for the War Memorial's displays. The estimated cost is $11.6 million.

A number of issues were discussed, most notably those affecting the place of the War Memorial as a premier national institution within the designated areas of the National Capital Plan. The National Capital Authority was concerned that the War Memorial use high quality materials, in the exterior cladding and roofing materials, which would be in keeping with the situation and significance of the existing building. The Committee recommended that the Australian War Memorial and the National Capital Authority continue to liaise on this matter.

Other matters considered by the Committee included:

consultation with staff on the fit-out design;

the need to consult with the Australian Greenhouse Office;

occupational health and safety features of the design; and

the contractual arrangements for the delivery of the project.

The Committee satisfied itself on these matters, and therefore the Committee recommends that the proposed works for an extension to the Australian War Memorial proceed at the estimated cost of $11.6 million.

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Development of a new collection storage facility for the National Library of Australia

The last report that the Committee is tabling today is report number 9 for 2004, the Development of a New Storage Facility for the National Library of Australia at Hume, ACT.

The primary aim of the proposed work is to construct a facility with the capacity to support the National Library's ongoing storage needs. Current storage facilities are full and the Library informed the Committee that it needs storage that has appropriate insulation and air conditioning in order to protect the collection.

The estimated cost of the proposed works is $9.9 million.

A variety of issues were raised with the Library at the public hearing, including:

the capacity of the Library to acquire the land at Hume from the ACT Government;

compliance with the National Capital Development Control Plan;

siting arrangements for the proposed building, fire protection and security.

Being satisfied with the Library's responses to its concerns, the Committee recommends that the works proceed.

Mr President, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my Committee colleagues and all those involved in all of the above inquiries. I commend the reports to the Senate.

Question agreed to.