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Wednesday, 21 May 1980
Page: 2984

Mr GROOM (Braddon) (Minister for Housing and Construction) - 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: Construction of Commonwealth Law Courts, Hobart, Tasmania.

The proposal is for the construction of a law courts building to consolidate Commonwealth law courts functions in Hobart at a site in Davey Street. The proposed building is planned to meet the existing and projected accommodation needs of Commonwealth courts and tribunals in Hobart and will include facilities for: The Federal Court of Australia; the Family Court of Australia, including counselling and child minding facilities; the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission; the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and other Federal tribunals; the Deputy Crown Solicitor; and support activities including conference and hearing rooms, chambers and a library. It is another project of significance for Hobart and indeed the State of Tasmania.

In reporting favourably on the proposal the Committee has suggested that the Accommodation requirement for the Family Court of Australia be reviewed. The Government notes the recommendation and I am pleased to say that such a review will be undertaken.

In its report the Committee made three important observations. Firstly, in paragraph 17 the Committee noted that only limited facilities are proposed for the Australian Federal Police. Secondly, in paragraph 32 it was suggested that the Department of Administrative Services should review its operations to keep abreast of property value movements. Thirdly, in paragraph 36 the Committee pointed out whilst the National Trust performs a vital function in the preservation of historic buildings it should carefully consider any significant financial implications in a request for preservation. These worthwhile observations have been carefully noted by the Government and will be drawn to the notice of the appropriate authorities.

The estimated cost of the proposal examined by the Committee was $8.4m at March 1980 prices. The Committee agrees that construction should now proceed. If the House agrees to support the motion, detailed planning can proceed in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.

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