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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 173

Senator O’Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 21 December 2004:

With reference to the failure to complete the quarantine infrastructure upgrade at Melbourne Airport as reported on page 75 of the department’s annual report 2003-04:

(1)   Will the Minister provide a detailed explanation for the failure to complete the project.

(2)   When will the upgrade be completed.

(3)   What additional costs, if any will result from the delay.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   Completion of the project was delayed for the following reasons:

(i)   other airport infrastructure work being carried out at the same time meant contractors could not access certain areas to complete relocation of staff facilities by 30 June;

(ii)   reconfiguration of some of the newly installed queuing and inspection areas (at the request of the border agencies) was required to ensure maximum efficiency;

(iii)   the installation of a glass screen at the end of the baggage carousel nearest the quarantine and inspection area was delayed due to sourcing the screen overseas;

(iv)   works identified in the original scope of works and removed due to potential budget over runs, were reinstated upon agreement by border agencies once project savings were identified by the Project Managers.  Further minor works are anticipated over the next month as the project is bedded in - eg $4,000 was approved for minor defect air conditioning works on 22 December 2004 in response to abnormally high temperature readings in the inspection hall which were a direct result of IQI works.

(2)   It is anticipated the total project will be finalised within the first quarter of 2005. 

(3)   Additional project management fees amounting to $128,554 have been incurred as a result of project delays although it is anticipated the total project will come in under budget.