2. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Capability Facilities Project

The Department of Defence (Defence) seeks approval from the Committee to proceed with the proposed Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (CBRND) Capability Facilities Project in various locations across Australia.
The CBRND Capability Facilities Project is a part of the wider LAND 2110 Phase 1B capability project. According to Defence:
LAND 2110 is a multiphase project providing the Australian Defence Force with an improved chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence capability to ensure it can operate in current and future threat environments.1
The Australian Defence Force's CBRND Capability Facilities project will provide new and refurbished facilities to undertake training for the LAND 2110 capability and provide facilities to support the capability equipment procured under the LAND 2110 capability project.2
The estimated cost of the project is $16.67 million (excluding GST).
The project was referred to the Committee on Thursday, 10 May 2018.

Conduct of the inquiry

Following referral, the inquiry was publicised on the Committee’s website and via media release.
The Committee received two submissions, one supplementary submission, and one confidential submission. A list of submissions can be found at Appendix A.
On 30 July 2018, the Committee conducted a site inspection by presentation for the Committee. On the same day, the Committee also conducted a public and in camera hearing. A transcript of the public hearing is available on the Committee’s website.3

Need for the works

In its submission, Defence stated that the CBRND capability aims to protect Australian Defence Force personnel from the strategic, tactical and physiological impacts of exposure to toxic industrial materials and CBRN weapons. This is achieved through training and equipping personnel for operations in a CBRN threat environment by addressing the five enabling systems of CBRN protection:
detection, identification and monitoring;
warning and reporting;
physical protection;
hazard management; and
medical support.4
Defence told the Committee that:
To support the introduction into service and subsequent operation of the LAND 2110 capability, suitable infrastructure and training facilities are required at a number of ADF establishments around Australia.5
According to Defence, the training facilities in support of the LAND 2110 capability were identified as either being non-existent or dilapidated and in a state of disrepair.6
Furthermore, Defence stated that facilities to support storage of the equipment procured under capability project LAND 2110 were also identified as either being non-existent or not fit for purpose.7

Scope of the works

At the public hearing, Defence discussed the relationship between the CBRND capability being acquired under LAND 2110 and the proposed facilities:
The new capability will be supported by the facilities project through the consideration of sustainment and maintenance, which will be provided through the provision of facilities to accommodate the capabilities containerised integrated logistics package storage solution at key ADF training and operational preparedness locations. Training will be supported through the provision of new and refurbished mast test facilities to conduct basic level training and to ensure soldiers are confident with their training and equipment. Navy will also providing cleansing and monitoring station simulation facilities to better simulate the conditions on ships.8
In its submission, Defence outlined the two facilities components to be delivered through three project elements at 14 sites across Australia. For a list of locations, see Table 2.1 below.
The proposed works have been separated into the following two components:
the construction of new mask testing facilities (MTF) and refurbishment of existing facilities; and
the provision of storage facilities to support the integrated logistics plan (ILP) for the project.9
Defence split the proposed works into three project elements:
Element 1 – New Mask Testing Facilities [MTF] construction. The facility consists of a central enclosed structure where training is conducted, with water available on site at the structure. A four-vehicle car park in the vicinity of the structure is to be constructed, with an access road provided to connect the facility to the nearest road. An undercover training shelter (waiting area), suitable for use by 30 personnel, is to be constructed at the entrance to the facility and outside of the safety area. A six-vehicle car park is to be provided at the waiting area.
Element 2 – Refurbished Mask Testing Facilities. This project element is to update and refurbish three existing facilities to undertake individual and collective training for the LAND 2110 capability at three locations.
Element 3 –ILP Storage Solutions. The requirement for this project element is to provide facilities at ten locations to support the operational and training capability procured under the capability project LAND 2110 in three configurations:
Operational pack for Army;
Operational pack for Air Force; and
Training packs for all three services.10
Table 2.1 demonstrates which project elements will be delivered at the 14 sites.

Table 2.1:  Proposed works at 14 sites across Australia
Element 1
Element 2
Refurb MTG
Element 3
HMAS Stirling, WA
Bindoon Training Area, WA
Robertson Barracks, NT
RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA
Lavarack Barracks, Qld
Gallipoli Barracks, Qld
RAAF Base Amberley, Qld
SME, Holsworthy Barracks, NSW
ARTC Kapooka, NSW
RAAF Base Wagga, NSW
HMAS Creswell, ACT
RMC, Majura Range, ACT
HMAS Cerberus, Vic
RAAF Base East Sale, Vic
Source: Department of Defence, Submission No.1, p.8.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence early 2019 and be completed in late 2019.11

Cost of the works

The project has a budget of $16.67 million, exclusive of GST. It includes the cost of construction, management and design fees, contingencies and an escalation allowance.12
Defence provided further detail on project costings in its confidential submission and during an in camera hearing.
The Committee is satisfied that the costings for the project provided to it have been adequately assessed by the proponent entity.

Committee comment

The Committee notes the submission from Gallipoli Precinct Action Group commending Defence for its consultation for this project.13 The Committee encourages Defence to continue its usual engagement with local communities.
The Committee did not identify any issues of concern with the proposal and is satisfied that the project has merit in terms of need, scope and cost.
Having regard to its role and responsibilities contained in the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the Committee is of the view that this project signifies value for money for the Commonwealth and constitutes a project which is fit for purpose, having regard to the established need.

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the House of Representatives resolve, pursuant to Section 18(7) of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, that it is expedient to carry out the following proposed works: Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Capability Facilities Project.
Proponent entities must notify the Committee of any changes to the project scope, time, cost, function or design. The Committee also requires that a post-implementation report be provided within three months of a project completion. A report template can be found on the Committee’s website.

  • 1
    Brigadier Matt Galton, Department of Defence, Transcript of evidence, 30 July 2018, p. 1.
  • 2
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 7.
  • 3
  • 4
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 1.
  • 5
    Brigadier Matt Galton, Department of Defence, Transcript of evidence, 30 July 2018, p. 1.
  • 6
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 1.
  • 7
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 1
  • 8
    Brigadier Matt Galton, Department of Defence, Transcript of evidence, 30 July 2018, p. 1.
  • 9
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 7.
  • 10
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, pp. 7-8.
  • 11
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 15.
  • 12
    Department of Defence, Submission No. 1, p. 15.
  • 13
    Gallipoli Precinct Action Group, Submission No. 2, p.1.

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