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Construction of a new chancery, Geneva and refurbishment of the Australian Embassy, Washington



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■ b . 'p l o m c ^ 'o - ^ cj~u i 0 ^ o 6 6 k o v U

PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA ACT 2 6 0 0

TEL: (06) 2 7 7 4 6 3 6 FAX: (06) 2 7 7 4 4 2 6

Canberra, 11 September 1995

FOR THE MEDIA

Construction of a new chancery, Geneva

Refurbishment of the Australian Embassy, Washington

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works will hold public hearings into the above proposals on Wednesday 13 September 1995 in Committee Room 1R1, Parliament House, Canberra, commencing at 9.30am (approx).

The Committee, chaired by Mr Colin Hollis MP, is required by the Public Works Committee A ct 1969 to report to Parliament on the need for the work, if the proposed work will adequately satisfy the need, if the estimated cost of the work can be justified and the amount of revenue, if any, the work will generate for the Commonwealth.

The projects were referred to the Public Works Committee for consideration and report by the House of Representatives on 22 June 1995. The Geneva project is estimated to cost $22.446 million at December 1994 prices. The Washington project is estimated to cost $16 million at November 1994 prices.

The Geneva proposal comprises the construction of office accommodation to replace inadequate office accommodation of the Australian Mission in Geneva which includes representation for the UN, GATT, World Trade Organisation, disarmament and the environment. The Australian permanent mission is required to vacate its current leased premises by March 1995.

The Committee will hear evidence from the Overseas Property Group, Departm ent of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand High Commissioner and the Community and Public Sector Union.

Washington

The Australian embassy in Washington services 19 government departments and organisations, including diplomatic, defence, immigration and trade. It is also the hub of the communications network for Australia's diplomatic missions in North and South America.

The building which houses the Australian embassy was constructed in 1969, with an extension added in 1976.

Geneva

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The building is well located but has many internal deficiencies, especially major building services which have reached the end of their design life. The proposal to be examined by the Committee involves a complete refurbishment which aims to provide a standard of accommodation appropriate to the functions of one of Australia's most significant embassies.

The Committee will hear evidence from the Overseas Property Group, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Community and Public Sector Union.

For further information contact:

Michael Fetter Tel: (06) 277 2368 Fax: (06) 277 4426

Public Works Committee Parliament House, Canberra

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