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Thursday, 26 November 2009
Page: 13001

Mr LINDSAY (10:25 AM) —This was a very interesting inquiry; some amazing facts came out. One of the great things about the Public Works Committee is that you really can make a difference. In relation to residents who live around Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera, we felt that the traffic issues were not properly addressed. Defence—to their credit—have taken that on, and we will get a good outcome for the community because Defence really likes to work and live in its community and so that will happen.

Another interesting thing that came out was that there were 10 water supply connections to Gallipoli Barracks, many of them unmetered, and Defence was getting free water. The other interesting thing was that in some of the connections water was flowing out of the barracks into the city, and the barracks were supplying water to the Brisbane City Council. I think that is all going to be addressed. These are the sorts of things that come up during inquiries like these.

This is $77 million for Lavarack Barracks in Townsville in addition to the other money for the other bases across the country. This is Enhanced Land Force stage 2. These are very significant additions to Townsville, and I am sure that the member for Solomon would like to know that it maintains Lavarack Barracks as the premier Defence base in Australia. It is the home of the 3rd Brigade, and we are the garrison city of Australia and that is terrific.

I would like to make a special thanks to Brigadier Bill Grice, Director General of the Infrastructure Asset Development Branch. This was his last inquiry and his last project. Bill is such a can-do, hands-on person. He led that division wonderfully. He thinks he is retiring, but I am sure is not. He is going off to the United States but he will be back in a civilian role. Who knows, he may well come back to Defence. I do not think he ever expected to get to Brigadier but he has done it so wonderfully well. He made an observation which was quite remarkable. He said ‘You know, this year I have dealt with almost $2 billion worth of projects for Defence and I have 100 staff.’ He said, ‘Have a look at the DMO, $6 billion each year for 7,000 staff.’ There is probably a very interesting comment there.

Finally, as the last PWC report being dealt with by expediency motion today for the year, might I thank the staff of the PWC under James Catchpole and Siobhan Leyne. They are such highly professional people, such wonderful people in how they run the committee to get this work through the parliament, so we can get all of this money flowing in the Australian economy. Thank you so much to the staff; you are legends.

Question agreed to.