Mr McCORMACK (Riverina-Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance): by leave-I move:
That, in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the following proposed work be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for consideration and report: residential accommodation and staff amenities at the Australian Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade proposed to undertake upgrades to residential accommodation and staff amenities within the Australian Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan. The need for the works arises out of the security environment and restrictions on staff movement. The works will improve amenities available to staff in what is a challenging operating environment. The works will also improve the security for the post by consolidating the area in which people need to move to access facilities.
The project consists of two parts: the refurbishment of Star House and upgrades to the American Houses. The overall cost is estimated to be in the order of $23 million, excluding GST. I am confident the committee will undertake a timely inquiry into these works and I look forward to its report. I commend the motion to the House.