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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14579

Mr HAWKE (MitchellSpecial Minister of State) (11:08): 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: Replacement of the wharf crane and mooring systems on Christmas Island.

As advised when this project was referred to the Public Works Committee on 25 October 2018, the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, representing the Australian government, is responsible for the provision, management and operation of port facilities on Christmas Island. These facilities support the social and economic wellbeing of the Christmas Island community and support Australia's strategic capability in the Indian Ocean region.

In the 2018-19 budget measure 'Indian Ocean Territories—essential infrastructure and air services', the government provided $51.6 million over four years from 2018-19 to upgrade Commonwealth infrastructure and underwrite essential air services in the Indian Ocean territories. The budget measure includes $26.2 million over three years from 2018-19 in capital funding, including for the project on Christmas Island. This includes management, design fees, construction costs, locality allowance, contingencies and escalation allowance.

The committee conducted an inquiry into the project and did not identify any issues of concern with the proposal. The committee is also satisfied that the project has merit in terms of the need, scope and cost. The committee is of the view that the project signifies value for money for the Commonwealth and constitutes a project that is fit for purpose, having regard to the established need. The committee recommends that the House of Representatives resolve, pursuant to section 18(7) of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, that it is expedient to carry out the proposed works. On behalf of the government, I'd like to thank the committee for once again undertaking their inquiries.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the proposed works, construction is planned to commence in September 2019, with staged completion of facilities between September 2020 and July 2021. I commend this motion to the House.

Question agreed to.