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Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Page: 5220

Senator McLUCAS (4:25 PM) —On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the fourth report of 2009 of the committee, Referral made June 2009: Construction of a new Australian embassy complex in Jakarta, Indonesia. I seek leave to move a motion in relation to the report.

Leave granted.

Senator McLUCAS —I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

This report addresses the proposed Australian embassy complex to be constructed in Jakarta, Indonesia. The embassy complex will cost $415 million and provide office accommodation for the 14 Australian government agencies represented in Indonesia, as well as living accommodation for the head of mission and 32 essential staff and their families. The design of the planned complex also recognises the security needs of the Australian mission in Indonesia as well as using the spirit of Australian character in features throughout the complex.

While the committee was considering this proposal, seven people, including three Australians, lost their lives in the 17 July 2009 bombing at two well-known hotels in Jakarta. This acutely reminded the committee of the need to provide a secure embassy for Australians working in Jakarta. The committee received assurances from the department that this embassy proposal meets the appropriate security standards.

The committee has commended the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the significant commitment to environmentally sustainable design that this building makes. It is not only sympathetic to the tropical Indonesian environment but it recognises the need for government agencies to be utilising low-resource technologies. The committee would like to see more projects of this quality brought before it. The committee has recommended that the House of Representatives agree to the project proceeding. I would like to thank the senators and members of the committee for their work in relation to this inquiry. I commend the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for a quality submission.

I commend the report to the Senate.

Question agreed to.