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Thursday, 11 May 2000
Page: 16261

Mr SLIPPER (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration) (10:16 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: HMAS Albatross stage 2 redevelopment, Nowra, NSW.

The Department of Defence proposes to develop further the Royal Australian Navy air base by implementing a second stage of construction. This will provide purpose-built facilities and services that will improve the operational reliability and organisational functionality of this base. These works are a continuation of the major redevelopment of HMAS Albatross which, under the Defence stage 1 project, was agreed to by parliament in April 1998.

The stage 1 works include an integrated squadron complex with HS816 Sea Hawk helicopters and HS805 Sea Sprite helicopter squadrons, an air traffic control complex, an airfield lighting system, aircraft shelters, an explosive ordnance storage complex and training and photographic centres. The design, documentation and construction of these facilities are currently progressing, with completion planned for October this year. The second stage of the proposed works will provide for the upgrade of existing arrestor gear, a helicopter corrosion control facility, flight deck procedural training simulators, a visiting military aircraft hardstand, perimeter security fencing, a helicopter underwater escape training simulator, a gymnasium, extension of taxiway Bravo and the demolition and relocation of buildings and engineering services. There is no proposal for future works at this time. As the conditions of the remaining old facilities begin to exceed economic repair, work proposals may be expected.

The Department of Defence is currently constructing a new facility at HMAS Albatross to provide for the relocation from Sydney of 170 Defence personnel in the Naval Aviation Logistics Management Squadron to Nowra, New South Wales. The facility will provide a new 2,280 square-metre facility on the base. The estimated outturn cost of the stage 2 proposal is $41 million. Subject to parliamentary approval, it is anticipated that construction will start in mid-2000 and will be completed by December 2001. In its report the Public Works Committee has recommended that this project proceed. The Department of Defence agrees with the recommendations of the committee and, on behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for its support. I commend the motion to the House.

Question resolved in the affirmative.