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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr STEWART (Wimmera) (Minister for Works and Railways) .- I move -

That it is expedient to carry out the erection of Commonwealth Offices, Brisbane, a proposed work which has been investigated and reported upon by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Public Works Committee Act 1913-1921.

This proposal is to utilize the valuable vacant land, in the centre of Brisbane, which is the property of the Commonwealth Government, by erecting thereon a suitable building to be occupied by the local branches of the Commonwealth Departments, which are now in rented premises, some of which have to be vacated next year. The utilization of this land was the subject of a report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works in July, 1921. In that report the Committee recommended the donation of a portion of the land towards the formation of a soldiers' memorial square. The State Government and the municipality of Brisbane were also interested in the movement. The donation of the land required has been made. In its report the Committee also referred to the necessity for the erection of. Commonwealth offices in Brisbane, and considered that the remainder of the land would be suitable for such buildings. Similar building projects are in progress in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth. Drawings of a five-story building to cover the whole area of the land having frontages to Adelaide and Ann streets and Memorial-square have been submitted as required by the Act. The first section of the building provided for in the drawings is intended to give 86,000 feet of effective office space at an estimated cost of about £127,000. This space is considerably in excess of the initial requirements, but it may be found advisable to provide a structure of this size even if portions of it have to be let pending expansion of the Commonwealth Government requirements.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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