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Wednesday, 27 November 1985
Page: 2395

Senator REID(8.01) —On behalf of Estimates Committee F I wish to bring a matter to the attention of this Committee. In the examination of the estimates of the Department of Local Government and Administrative Services, the Committee's attention was drawn to the unresolved issue concerning disposal of surplus government property in Williamstown, Victoria. Although the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations reported on this issue in June 1978, the old Customs House, the Wiltona Hostal and the Williamstown rifle range remain unsold. The Committee understands that several of the ceilings of the old Customs House have now fallen in, that the electrical wiring has been condemned, that the slate roof leaks badly and that no money has been spent on this building since 1978. As yet, no successful sale has occurred and the Customs House is continuing to deteriorate.

The Senate Standing Committee of Finance and Government Operations recommended in 1978 that disposal of the Wiltona Hostel and the adjacent Williamstown rifle range be negotiated in order to overcome delays. However, only in 1985 have these properties now been declared surplus to Commonwealth requirements. As these three properties continue to deteriorate, the situation which has remained unresolved for the last seven years seems no closer to resolution and the Committee believes that a further inquiry should be undertaken.

The Committee recommends that this matter should be referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations for a further report, and I move:

That the Committee, having considered the report of Estimates Committee F, recommends-That the following matter be referred to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations: The delay in the disposal of the Customs House, Wiltona Hostel and the Rifle Range, Williamstown, Victoria.