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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 3961

Mr GRAY (BrandSpecial Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity) (10:44): 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: Proposed improvement to fuel storage and supply, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean Territories.

The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport proposes to increase the bulk fuel storage capacity and integrate and co-locate storage of diesel, aviation fuel and petrol on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean Territories. All fuel is required to be delivered to Christmas Island by sea. Adverse weather conditions, particularly those prevalent during the 'swell' season, limit and often prevent ships from being unloaded. As a result, bulk deliveries of diesel and petrol are typically scheduled to occur just prior to and immediately following the swell season. The scheduled deliveries can be compromised due to the variances in when the swell season commences and finishes.

The proposed works include:

increased access to Commonwealth owned bulk diesel storage tanks currently leased to the Indian Ocean Oil Co. and hence increased storage capacity at Smith Point;

construction of a new bulk fuel installation on Murray Road including bulk petrol storage tanks (relocated from Rock Point), service station (relocated from the settlement area and subject to community consultation); isotainer storage area for aviation fuel and construction of fixed aviation fuel storage adjacent to the airport;

construction of a new pipeline and associated infrastructure between Smith Point and the new bulk fuel installation to transfer petrol into bulk storage assets; and

demolition of redundant facilities and associated site remediation works.

The approved budget is $19.5 million, plus GST, and includes all costs to complete the project works, including contingencies and an allowance for escalation. An increase in the net operating costs of Commonwealth fuel assets is expected due to the construction of new and re-used facilities.

Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence in late 2012 and be completed by June 2014. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.