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Wednesday, 12 February 1986
Page: 228

(Question No. 720)

Senator Vigor asked the Minister representing the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services, upon notice, on 28 November 1985:

(1) Are many national organisations which the Government consults on legislative and other matters and which receive grants-in-aid in recognition of the expertise and assistance they are able to offer, forced to pay high rentals for their Canberra facilities and therefore not able to take on extra staff that are needed.

(2) Will the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services examine details of government buildings and accommodation in the Australian Capital Territory to see if excess capacity or underutilised space can be offered to national organisations at rentals somewhat more modest than what is available on the commercial market in order that Commonwealth grant-in-aid money be used more effectively.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) I am not in a position to provide the information you seek on national organisations as the provision of their accommodation is not a matter about which my department is consulted.

(2) The Commonwealth at the present time does not possess excess accommodation in the Australian Capital Territory and is also obliged to rent office space commercially to satisfy requirements. Several departments currently suffer cramped and otherwise unsatisfactory conditions as a result of the shortage of office accommodation, a situation which will be corrected as newly constructed office buildings become available for occupation.

On occasions when Commonwealth owned office space becomes temporarily surplus to requirements it is leased by way of public tender. This allows for the equitable treatment of all organisations seeking accommodation in Government premises.