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Parliament committee highlights budgetary construction concerns for the National Museum project.

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Press Statement



Labor Senator for Tasmania

Brisbane Street, Launceston, 7250


Tuesday, 23 June 1998




Parliament committee highlights budgetary construction

concerns for the new National Museum project


Follow ing one of the lengthiest and most protracted public hearing processes (in recent years) for a government building project the committee was left totally dissatisfied with the way the Department of Communications and the Arts had handled the project to date. Labor Senator Murphy and Joint Standing Committee members in commenting on the project today described the National Museum project as a mess.


“The mess that the department has made is brought into stark focus when we look at the competition they ran when selecting a design team,” said Senator Murphy.


“The competition was advertised as an international competition, however it did not comply with international rules for such competitions. This lead to confusion between entrants with regards to their obligation to meeting the design brief. The design brief required entrants to provide a design that could be constructed for $67.9million, however the winning design was costed at $82-88million.


“The budget had gone from $133 to $151.9 million in what can only be explained as an accommodation for the winning design and a general lack of administrative ability from a public service that has suffered because of Government attacks on jobs,” said Senator Murphy.


“Another principle concern of the committee was the choice of the construction delivery mechanism called ‘project alliancing’ which has never been used for building construction projects in Australia. The biggest concern is that due to the experimental nature of project alliancing, there is a real threat of a further blow out in costs if things go wrong or we could end up with a museum of a lesser quality than Australian’s deserve. This is of major concern to Labor members.


“Whilst supporting the development of a new National Museum facility I am concerned that the process currently in place may see a huge increase in the cost and a facility that will not meet museum requirements for the future,” said Senator Murphy.


* Shayne is available on (02) 6277 3551*