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Thursday, 3 December 2015
Page: 14757

Dr HENDY (Eden-MonaroAssistant Minister for Productivity) (17:14): 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: Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability Facilities Project.

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 refurbish existing facilities and construct new facilities at three locations across Australia to support the introduction of 12 new EA18G Growler aircraft and support systems for the Australian Defence Force

The works are proposed at RAAF Base Amberley, at the Army Aviation Centre at Oakey in Queensland and at Delamere Air Weapons Range in the Northern Territory.

The project will provide fit-for-purpose facilities to support and sustain the operation and maintenance of the Growler aircraft capability. The project works include civil works, living accommodation, administration facilities, logistics and maintenance facilities, training and simulator facilities, multistorey car parking, landscaping and demolition works. Once again, the government is committed to delivering world-class defence capabilities to support our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen in their roles at home and abroad.

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.

The project is valued at an estimated $348.6 million, excluding GST. This includes construction costs, escalation allowances, professional service fees, design, construction, Defence contingencies and information technology equipment. This investment will provide local employment opportunities for subcontractors in Queensland and the Northern Territory and will provide economic benefits for local business and industry. Subject to parliamentary approval, the project construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2016 with completion expected at all sites by mid-2021. I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.