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Wednesday, 8 December 1965

Mr BRIMBLECOMBE - The first comment I should like to make in connection with this report is to emphasise the need for the speedy completion of this building. Relief is urgently required from the substandard and overcrowded conditions under which the staff of some Commonwealth offices in Perth, such as the Taxation Branch, are at present working. The Bureau of Census and Statistics is installing a Control Data 3200 Computer in Perth. This is an expensive piece of equipment and unfortunately it is to be located in rented space because there is, at this point of time, no suitable accommodation available in a Commonwealth owned building. There is a pressing requirement for new accommodation for the computer because the rented space will be too small in about thee years time to accommodate the expanding needs of the working units located adjacent to the computer.

There have been suggestions in the Perth Press in recent weeks that public money is being wasted by the construction of buildings such as that proposed in this reference. The Commonwealth Offices are to be finished in quality materials chosen for their durability and ease of maintenance and are to be air conditioned for the comfort of the staff and the public who use them. On this particular point it might be noted that the computer requires space that is airconditioned on a 24-hour day basis within fine tolerances of humidity and temperature control.

The cost of the building is about £1,000 per square including about £200 per square for air conditioning. The Committeee does not consider that at this figure the cost is excessive or that public money is being wasted. For the price the Commonwealth will be obtaining a good quality building which will provide comfortable, but not lavish, conditions for the staff and the public who will use it. Furthermore, this will be a building which will survive the passage of time better than most and of which the Commonwealth and the city of Perth will be proud.

Ordered that the report be printed.

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