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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3453

Mr NEUMANN (BlairParliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing and Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General) (10:25): 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: Defence Science and Technology Organisation Human Protection and Performance Division security and facilities upgrade, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne, Victoria.

The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) is the leading Defence organisation agency charged with applying science and technology to protect and defend Australia and its national interests. In addition to the specialist advice and innovative solutions DSTO provides to the Australian Defence Force, the expertise that resides in DSTO also delivers unique capabilities to support the Australian government's broader national security requirements.

The DSTO Human Protection and Performance Division—HPPD—is located at the DSTO Melbourne site, Victoria, which is also known as DSTO Fishermans Bend. The mission of the HPPD is the application of innovative science to improve the protection and performance of personnel in physically challenging environments. The project proposes to enhance site security at DSTO Fishermans Bend and to rectify inadequacies in existing facilities to improve their ability to generate capability in support of the ADF and other Australian government organisations and agencies. The estimated project cost is $41.1 million plus GST and includes construction costs and management fees et cetera.

In its report, the public works committee has recommended that these works proceed. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence in mid-2013 and be completed by early 2016. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its support and I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.