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Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Page: 4049


Senator TROETH (5:21 PM) —I also congratulate you, Acting Deputy President Ryan, on your accession to the position of a temporary chair of committees. On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the 3rd report of 2009 of the committee, Referrals made February and March 2009: fit-out of new leased premises for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Sydney, New South Wales, and the construction of housing for Defence at Yamanto Hills, Ipswich, Queensland, and seek leave to move a motion in relation to the report.

Leave granted.


Senator TROETH —I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

I seek leave to incorporate a tabling statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the Committee’s third report of 2009, Referrals made February and March 2009.

The first project addressed in this report is the proposed fit-out of new leased premises for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission at Market Street in Sydney.  The project was referred to the Committee on 5 February 2009 at an estimated cost of $30.8 million.

The Committee was not satisfied with the initial cost plan provided by ASIC and was forced to seek further information on a number of issues. These subsequent inclusions increased the estimated cost of the work to $35.2 million, excluding GST.

ASIC submitted that the primary purpose of the proposed work is to co-locate its 870 Sydney-based staff at a single site, to benefit from the resultant operational and cost efficiencies and to provide room for any future increase in staff numbers.

In its examination of the project, the Committee found that the scope of the work, which comprised the fit-out of five floors at 100 Martin Place, would accommodate only 775 staff—insufficient to achieve ASIC’s aim of co-location.  At the site inspection, ASIC told the Committee that it was awaiting approval for the lease of an additional floor, which would allow it to accommodate 890 staff.  Approval was granted subsequent to the public hearing, incurring an additional $2.48 million in fit-out costs and bringing the total estimated project budget to $37.68 million.

The Committee recommends that the work proceed at this cost on the grounds that it will fulfil ASIC’s co-location requirements and provide limited capacity for future growth.

The referral for construction of housing for Defence at Yamanto Hills, Ipswich, Queensland has been deferred indefinitely, pending the resolution of noise issues related to the introduction at RAAF Base Amberley of the FA/18-F Super Hornet.  The Committee is concerned that the withdrawal was due to a lack of basic consultation by Defence Housing Australia with its primary client, the Department of Defence. The Committee recommends that DHA establish internal protocols to ensure that, in future, all such matters are resolved prior to the referral of a project. The Committee will be seeking to satisfy itself on this point when the project is re-referred.

Mr President, I would like to thank the Committee members for their work in relation to this inquiry and commend the report.

Question agreed to.