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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14759

Dr HENDY (Eden-MonaroAssistant Minister for Productivity) (17:26): 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: Battlefield Airlifter Facilities Project, Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Queensland.

As the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance advised the House when referring this project to the Public Works Committee, the Department of Defence is proposing to construct new facilities at the Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley, Queensland, to support the introduction of 10 new C27J Battlefield Airlifter aircraft and support systems for the Australian Defence Force.

The C27J Battlefield Airlifter aircraft is replacing the Caribou aircraft, which was retired from service in 2009 after a career spanning more than four decades. The flexibility of the C27J allows it to undertake a wide range of missions, from delivering ammunition to frontline troops to undertaking aeromedical evacuation of casualties.

The project includes a new headquarters building; hangars; a new apron including high-mast lighting, airfield ground lighting and hydrogen refuelling points; maintenance and deployment facilities; new training facilities; space for a flight stimulator and fuselage training stimulator; and associated engineering and site works.

The project will also construct facilities to replace functions displaced by the Battlefield Airlifter operational facilities and relocate a heritage building on the base.

The committee has conducted an inquiry and is of the view that the project signifies value for money for the Commonwealth and constitutes a project that is 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 of the project, construction is expected to commence in early to mid 2016, with all construction completed by early 2019. I commend the motion to the House, and I wish everyone a merry Christmas.

Question agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 17: 30 to 21:25