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Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Page: 3076

Mr COLEMAN (BanksAssistant Minister for Finance) (13:07): 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: Joint Project 157—Replacement aviation refuelling vehicles infrastructure project.

As advised when this project was referred to the Public Works Committee on 7 December, the Department of Defence is proposing to undertake infrastructure works to support the upgrade of the existing aviation fuel tankers and elevating hydrant vehicle fleets. The proposed work is consistent with the fuel infrastructure upgrade policy set out in the 2016 defence white paper. This project will deliver new and upgraded facilities across 14 military air bases within Australia, and at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth.

The new aviation refuelling fleet will require supporting facilities, including fuel-spill containment, fuel-treatment systems, vehicle shelters, and vehicle circulation and access roads. The extent of the infrastructure works by site varies as a result of the differing allocations of equipment and the availability of appropriate space within existing infrastructure. The works will also sustain and provide training to the required deployable Australian Defence Force workforce to operate Defence or allied aviation refuelling vehicles. The proposal will generate short-term employment opportunities and opportunities for suppliers, predominantly in the building, construction and labour markets, at 14 sites across Australia.

The committee has conducted an inquiry and is of the view that the project is considered value for money for the Commonwealth and constitutes a project that is fit for purpose and expedient to carry out. On behalf of the government, I would like to thank the committee for, once again, undertaking a timely inquiry. Subject to parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence in mid-2018 and be completed by late 2019, and I commend the motion to the House.

Question agreed to.