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$850m worth of major projects under construction

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8 November 1978


The Department of Construction had 166 projects of $1 million

or more, totalling $850 million, under construction at June 30,

The Minister for Construction, Mr. John McLeay, said this following

tabling the Department’s annual report for 1977/78 in Parliament today.

Design workload was also at a high level and the value of approved

major work in design or documentation at the same date was estimated at

$438 million.

The Minister said the highlights of the Department's construction

activijties during 1977/78 included the start of work on the $83 million

Australian National Animal Health Laboratory at Geelong, and the handing over

of the Papua New Guinea National Library,, in Port Moresby.

"The ANAHL project - one of the most technically sophisticated and

largest works yet undertaken· by the Department - will provide a much needed

facility for the diagnosis and control of any exotic livestock diseases that

penetrate Australia's quarantine barriers", Mr. McLeay said. -

"The $2 million National Library, which is Australia's independence

gift to Papua New Guinea, was the Department's final task in that country,

and is a fitting end to the Department's 30-year involvement in Papua New

Guinea's development." ' ,

Mr. McLeay said expenditure by the Department during 1977/78

totalled $720 million, a decrease of 10 per cent on expenditure for the

previous year. _ _ , ,r

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This was due largely to the Darwin Reconstruction Commission

completing its task and a substantial reduction in work for the National

Capital Development Commission.

Under this Government's policies a greater proportion of the

design and construction work was being placed with the private sector.

Mr. McLeay said that industrial disruption on projects with

contractors had been abnormally high, 48 projects being affected.

Six thousand man-days were lost, due mainly to campaigns by '

building unions in support of logs of claims. Disruption by departmental

employees had been minimal, accounting for only 500 man-days lost.

Since the writing of the report, a contract had been let for the

construction of a headquarters complex for the Department of Science's

Antarctic Division at Kingston, Tasmania. The total cost of the complex

was expected to exceed $8 million.

Another late development, following a Government decision, was

the setting up of a construction project team for the first phase of the

development of Brisbane Airport. .

Anticipated to cost about $150 million, the airport would include

a new runway, taxiways, domestic airline terminals, control tower and

other essential facilities. The operational date for the facility was

early 1986, Mr. McLeay said.

* * * * * *

Following is a list of other significant projects started and

completed during the year.

Projects completed:

. HMAS Stirling, the Naval Support Facility in Western Australia,

at a cost of $45 million;


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. a S3.5 million orchestral studio and music centre for the

A.B.C. in Brisbane;

e the Australian Counter-Disaster College at Macedon, Victoria,

$1.3 million;

o the S6.7 million City East telephone exchange, Sydney.

Projects started:

o the Exhibition telephone exchange, Melbourne estimated to cost

$20 million;

.. stage 2 development of the Williamstown Naval Dockyard, Victoria

($28 million);

o development of the Edinburgh RAAF Base, South Australia

($17.4 million);

. solar observatory at Learmonth, Western Australia ($1 million);

. Law Courts building at Alice Springs($2„6 million); ‘

. a $600,000 Government office block at Townsville which will be

the first to use solar power for its air-conditioning system.

* * * * · # ■ &

For further information: Bob Cornish 733055 (816587 AH)