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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3451

Mr NEUMANN (BlairParliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General) (10:20): On behalf of the Special Minister of State, I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 , it is expedient to carry out the following proposed work which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works and on which the committee has duly reported to Parliament: Australian Broadcasting Corporation Melbourne accommodation project, Southbank, Victoria.

The Australian Broadcasting Commission, the ABC, currently operates three sites in Melbourne: one at Southbank and two at Elsternwick. In 1999, the ABC purchased the site immediately adjacent to its existing Southbank Centre with the long-term objective of consolidating all its Melbourne based staff and operations, with the exception of television outside broadcast operations, on one site at Southbank. The proposed Melbourne Accommodation Project will achieve this objective together with a range of other ABC strategic, functional and financial objectives.

In an era of converging media, the proposed MAP will build an efficient and flexible working environment for ABC staff that reflects and supports the ABC charter. The proposal also aligns with a range of government policy objectives in the areas of the transition to digital television and digital radio services in metropolitan areas, environmental sustainability and the delivery of high quality and diverse broadcasting services including international television. The project involves construction of purpose built accommodation on the site immediately adjacent to the current Southbank broadcast site in Sturt street, Southbank. The consolidated facility will house all ABC radio, television and online production in Melbourne as well as broadcast and support facilities. The estimated cost of the project is $176.4 million, including project management, design, construction, building fit-out and the ABC's broadcast technological fit-out.

In its report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works has recommended that these works proceed and, subject to parliamentary approval, construction is scheduled to commence in late 2013 with project completion estimated to be late 2016. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its work and support. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.