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Thursday, 22 March 2012
Page: 3962

Mr GRAY (BrandSpecial Minister of State and Minister for the Public Service and Integrity) (10:48): 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 fit-out of Commonwealth Parliament Offices at 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, New South Wales.

The Department of Finance and Deregulation proposes to undertake a fit-out of new Commonwealth Parliament Offices (CPO) at 1 Bligh Street, Sydney. The Sydney CPO provides office and meeting facilities for the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, office holders and visiting senators and members.

The current CPO is located at 70 Phillip Street and, due to the age and condition of the accommodation as well as inherent faults that cannot be overcome by a refit, it is not desirable to enter into a new long-term lease of the premises.

However, a three-year lease has been signed to allow sufficient time to relocate and make good the current premises.

It is also proposed to provide office facilities for the Prime Minister, the current Leader of the Opposition and the operation of cabinet. In the past, the facilities for the Prime Minister and the operation of cabinet have been co-located with the CPO but have been on a separate lease and managed and fitted out by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. This proposal will achieve significant efficiencies and greater flexibility both in the fit-out project and ongoing operation of the facilities.

The Sydney CPO will occupy three levels of 1 Bligh Street, covering a fit-out area of 4,891 square metres.

The Bligh Street address retains the financial business district location with easy access to public transport and to the airport.

The estimated cost of the proposed fit-out is $21 million, plus GST.

A stakeholder reference group has been engaged which will provide regular input into the design of the new CPO.

Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence in July 2012 and be completed by December 2012.

I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.