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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2915

Mr GRAY (BrandSpecial Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity) (10:29): I move:

That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for consideration and report:

Air Warfare Destroyer Ship sustainment facilities at Garden Island, Randwick Barracks and HMAS Watson in Sydney, New South Wales.

The new air warfare destroyer will replace the Navy's Adelaide class guided missile frigates with three Hobart class air defence capable ships. The air warfare destroyers, currently under construction in three shipyards, in Newcastle in New South Wales, Williamstown in Victoria and Osborne in South Australia, will be the most advanced and complex warships introduced into service in the Royal Australian Navy. The first new air warfare destroyer, HMAS Hobart, is due for delivery in early 2016. The air warfare destroyer ship sustainment facilities project will provide permanent maintenance, systems support and berthing infrastructure at Garden Island, plus training facilities at Randwick Barracks and HMAS Watson in Sydney, New South Wales.

Garden Island, in Sydney, will be the operational base for the new air warfare destroyers, and the project proposes to co-locate and share certain new facilities with the new landing helicopter dock ships that will also operate from Sydney. At Garden Island, there will be berthing infrastructure upgrades to the wharves and a new shared three-storey office building to accommodate personnel involved in maintaining and keeping the ships operational. At Randwick Barracks, there will be a new air warfare destroyer training centre for crews, which will also be co-located and share certain facilities with a landing helicopter dock training centre. At HMAS Watson, there will be a new air warfare destroyer command team trainer to practise and hone the ship's command teams in the profession of maritime warfare.

The estimated cost of the proposal is $109.9 million plus GST and includes all delivery costs for the management and design fees, construction costs, information and communication technology, furniture, fittings, equipment contingencies and an allowance for escalation. Capital investments in the project will have economic benefits for the Sydney region and local industry, with significant opportunities for subcontractors and the construction industry over the next three years. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence later this year and be completed by late 2015. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.