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Thursday, 28 June 2018
Page: 6758


Mr COLEMAN (BanksAssistant Minister for Finance) (10:46): 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: Facilities to support naval operations in the north project, Darwin.

As advised when this project was referred to the public works committee on 28 March 2018, the Department of Defence is proposing to construct a new wharf at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin, Northern Territory, to support the Navy's activities and the Australian Defence Force more broadly. This project aligns with the 2016 Defence white paper's advice on the importance of key enabling capabilities at defence bases. The paper foreshadowed the upgrading of Coonawarra to support the new offshore patrol vessels.

The project will employ a diverse range of skilled consultants and contractors, a maximum workforce of 240 personnel and an average construction workforce of around 130 personnel. The estimated cost to deliver the project is $272.6 million, excluding GST. The committee has conducted an inquiry and considers the project to be value for money for the Commonwealth, fit for purpose and expedient to carry out. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for once again undertaking a timely inquiry. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to start in early 2019 and be completed by mid-2023. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.