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Thursday, 21 March 2013
Page: 2916

Mr GRAY (BrandSpecial Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity) (10:34): 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:

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Melbourne accommodation project, Southbank, Victoria.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the ABC, currently occupies 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 of 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 Melbourne accommodation project 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 area 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 the construction of a purpose-built accommodation on the site immediately adjacent to the current Southbank broadcast centre at 102-118 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 broadcast technology fit-out. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is scheduled to commence in late 2013, with project completion estimated to be late 2016. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.