House debates

Monday, 29 May 2017


Public Works Committee; Report

11:59 am

Photo of Scott BuchholzScott Buchholz (Wright, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, I present the committee's report entitled, Report No. 5 2017:Referrals made December 2016, February and March 2017.

Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e).

by leave—On behalf of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works I present the committee's fifth report for 2017 of which five proposals referred between December 2016 and March 2017 are now tabled. The first proposal is stage 1 of the Garden Island Critical Infrastructure Recovery Program. The project will demolish the existing cruiser and oil wharves at the naval base at Garden Island in Sydney and replace them with new wharves which will cater for the Royal Australian Navy's current and future needs. The future project cost is $213 million.

The second proposal is for upgrades to mechanical and electrical infrastructure for buildings 5 and 6 at Russell Offices in Canberra. These buildings house the Australian Signals Directorate which provides critical signals intelligence and information security to the Australian Defence Force, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The project cost estimate is $75.4 million.

The third proposal is the Geoscience Australia main building refresh project in Symonston, ACT. Geoscience Australia seeks to conduct the first fit-out of its main building since 1997 and, in the process, to undertake some resurfacing outside and repainting inside, in accordance with their new lease agreements and with the new building owners. The project cost estimate is around $17.5 million, excluding GST.

The fourth project is proposed hardening works at the Melbourne Immigration and Transit Accommodation facility run by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. This project proposes to provide accommodation for high-risk detainees as part of a wider national program to rationalise the immigration detention network in Australia. The project cost estimate is $29 million.

The final project in this report looks to upgrade the housing for Defence Force families at Seaward Village at Swanbourne in Western Australia. Seaward Village is located adjacent to the Campbell Barracks and is largely occupied by Special Air Service Regiment soldiers and their families. This project is estimated to cost $48.3 million.

The committee recommends that the five proposed projects should proceed.

Can I also add my very heartfelt compliments to the committee on the way that the Public Works Committee goes about and conducts its business. Unfortunately, too often, when Australians look at the performance of their representatives and politicians here in Canberra they do so through the prism of question time. I would encourage those who have an interest to spend more time tracking the effectiveness of the good work that is done by so many of the committees in this place. I want to offer a compliment on the way that both sides of the House work in coming to outcomes for the betterment of the nation. The projects that we have just spoken about have national security issues and have defence issues, and I can assure you that both sides of the House have complete ownership of the expensing of taxpayers' money, where we evaluate projects on a number of criteria across party lines. That committee process is supported by a very able secretariat, who are here in the House today.

The report is being tabled and I commend the report to the House.