Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (18 February) . .
Despite the delays caused by the asbestos removal, work remains close to the original program. Completion of ground floor works is scheduled for late March. This will accommodate OLA security and ICT staff and two media officers, a dedicated record storage facility, a carer's room, and a breakout space for those OLA staff located in the Assembly building.
Completion of the three new ministerial suites on level 2 is scheduled for early April. Initially two of them will be used for temporary accommodation while existing ministerial suites are refreshed. By late April, Minister Bourke's office is scheduled to be relocated from level 1. Shortly afterwards Minister Fitzharris will be relocated to one of the new suites.
Completion of the new suites on level 1 and the new meeting rooms and catering kitchen is scheduled for late May. To enable works to commence on the north side of level 1, the building contractors will be erecting hoardings in the coming days that will prevent access to the lift and main staircase at the public entrance and will prevent access to the northern end of the western and eastern corridors of level 1.
Access to the upper floors from the public entrance will be via the committee room corridor, either using the fire stairs between the two committee rooms or continuing around to the members entrance. This is going to be substantially inconvenient, but we have cut back the time these hoardings will be up. By late March, when completion of works on the ground floor is expected, there may be alternative access via the reception room. The restricted access to level 1 is expected to remain in place until those works are completed in mid-May.
An example of the level of detail required in any project like this is that the original lock and key systems for the building cannot be expanded to cater for new members and ministers suites as well as the North Building offices. As a consequence, new locks and keys for all doors in the Assembly precinct are scheduled to be installed in late March and early April.
One of the quirks of the project that has attracted quite a few quizzical comments, not least from me, is the order of the refresh works. Some people, including me, have been wondering about the wisdom of laying carpet and then painting. I am assured that it is simply a fact that the carpet goes down more quickly than the painters can get through. If the carpet layers wait for each stage of the painting, it will add to the length of time that we will have uncarpeted corridors and rooms, and our carpet layers' program would have a more stop-start aspect to it, which would add to time and costs. All professional painters are quite skilled at painting on existing carpeted areas. If they do spill paint on any carpeted area, those tiles will be replaced at the contractor's cost and at no cost to the territory. It is the job of contractors to hand over a refurbished building fit for purpose according to the standard required.
Finally, members, upgrades to the air-conditioning systems, the general bathrooms and the reception kitchen are still being programmed. These works are expected to continue until August. I will update members more on these works as more detail becomes clear.
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