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Thursday, 20 August 2009
Page: 8477

Dr KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support and Parliamentary Secretary for Water) (9:39 AM) —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: Construction of a new Australian Embassy complex including Chancery, Head of Mission residence, staff housing and recreational facilities in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade proposes to construct a new Australian embassy complex, including chancery, head of mission residence, staff housing and recreational facilities in Jakarta, Indonesia, at an estimated outturn cost of $415.1 million, exclusive of GST. On 9 September 2004 the current Australian mission was subjected to a terrorist attack, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device was detonated outside the main entry guard station, killing 11 people. Rectification and new physical security works were urgently undertaken to the mission in the aftermath of the attack in order to provide staff and visitors with increased protection. The government approved the relocation of the Jakarta mission on security grounds. The new site will enable the construction of appropriate setbacks to the buildings for blast mitigation, while the buildings themselves will be designed to resist blast.

While the new development is driven by the imperative to provide more secure accommodation, a rapid and large increase of staff in the Jakarta mission over recent years has resulted in the chancery being seriously overcrowded and dysfunctional. The development will provide efficient, modern and secure facilities for 14 Commonwealth agencies represented in Jakarta. The chancery will also provide space and facilities for official functions, exhibitions, meetings, lectures and business missions.

In its report, the Public Works Committee has recommended that these works proceed. Subject to parliamentary approval, an early works construction package, if applicable, could commence in late 2010, with the main works likely to commence before mid-2011. Practical completion of construction, followed by occupation of the premises, would be achieved in late 2014. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its support and I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.