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Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Page: 6841


Senator RUSTON (South AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (16:43): On behalf the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present report No. 8 of 2015, referrals made June 2015, and move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

I seek leave to incorporate the tabling statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Mr President

On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the Committee's eighth report of 2015 which deals with three projects referred to the Committee in June.

The first project is for the Australian Taxation Office. It concerns the refurbishment of currently leased premises at 121-125 Henry Street in Penrith, New South Wales. At the same time the ATO propose to relinquish nearly 4,500 square metres of excess space. The estimated cost of the project is $19.6 million.

This building was purpose-built for the ATO in 1994. The current fit-out, which has been in place since that time, requires upgrading. The building owner will use this opportunity to enhance base building services. Together these upgrades will deliver both energy and cost efficiencies. Additionally, the fit-out will increase work point occupancy density so that it is in line with the government target.

The Committee received a briefing from the ATO and conducted hearings on 24 August. The ATO told the Committee that similar works have achieved successful outcomes, in terms of cost and project delivery.

The Committee is satisfied that the project has merit in terms of need, scope and cost and recommends that it proceed.

Mr President, the second project I report on today is for the newly amalgamated Administrative Appeals Tribunal. From 1 July 2015, the AAT was expanded to include the Migration Review Tribunal, Refugee Review Tribunal and the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

These Tribunals are currently spread across three different locations in Sydney's central business district. The AAT plans to undertake fit-out works at 83 Clarence Street, Sydney to accommodate all staff and operations in the one location. The works are expected to be completed by March 2016. The project is expected to cost $21.1 million.

Co-location will allow the AAT to share resources and reduce floor space. The AAT has negotiated cost savings and lease incentives for the fit-out.

The Committee received a briefing from the AAT and conducted hearings on 24 August. At the public hearing, the Committee received information regarding some of the special requirements for AAT fit-out. These will include office space for full-time Tribunal members, as well as security and acoustic requirements needed for the hearing rooms.

The Committee is satisfied that the project has merit in terms of need, scope and cost and recommends that it proceed.

The final project, Mr President, is for Airservices Australia and concerns constructing new equipment rooms in Melbourne and Brisbane. This Committee has previously reported that existing air traffic management systems used by Airservices and Defence will be replaced by the OneSKY system.

OneSKY will run in tandem with the current system for a four year period before it becomes fully operational. Airservices' existing equipment rooms in Melbourne and Brisbane do not have sufficient power, cooling, floor space and availability to accommodate both systems. Therefore Airservices proposes to construct new equipment rooms for the OneSKY system. The project is expected to cost $35.4 million.

The Committee received a briefing from Airservices and conducted a site inspection and hearings in Melbourne on 25 August. Airservices told the Committee that constructing new facilities at each location was the lowest-risk, being the least disruptive to air traffic service delivery and safety.

Mr President, the Committee notes that all federally-leased airports are required to produce a plan for major developments conducted on-site. This includes a public consultation phase and sign off by the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. As the public consultations are still in progress, the Committee requires Airservices to report back on the outcomes.

However, the Committee is satisfied that the project has merit in terms of need, scope and cost and recommends that it proceed.

Mr President, I commend this report to the Senate.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator O'Neill ): The question is that the Senate take note of the report.

Question agreed to.