Page 4261 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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building to clear the refurbishment zone, such as IT and technical staff and the media. The project control group will keep members and other building occupants informed of the relocation program and how it might impact temporarily on support services.

The second phase of the project will start slightly ahead of schedule during the week starting 14 December. This will involve works to the Assembly building. To isolate the construction zone, internal hoardings will be erected to levels 1 and 2 and the ground floor. This will be a no-go zone until May 2016. Alternative public access arrangements will be made for that period as the hoardings on the ground floor encompass the entrance, staircase and lift well.

Also in the week starting 14 December, some initial demolition work will take place, but it is not expected to cause any significant disruption. After that, construction work will suspend for the Christmas break and restart on Monday, 4 January. At that time, the demolition work will continue. Also from 4 January, the recarpeting and repainting program will start in the ministerial corridor and suites. Our aim is to refresh all of the level 2 corridors and most ministerial suites by the third week of January. Any remaining ministerial offices will be refreshed between February and April along with the rest of the building which is not being renovated.

Members, I am also pleased to announce that savings in the original project budget have been identified. With the Treasurer’s agreement now to hand, for which I thank him, these savings will let us undertake some other building refurbishments—doing them in a more cost-effective and less disruptive way. This will involve an upgrade of ageing elements of the heating, ventilation and cooling system, a refresh of the general bathrooms, and a refresh of the reception room kitchen. I am advised that these additional works will extend the timetable of the project from May to August 2016.

I can also advise that the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure has agreed to a design to accommodate 25 members in the chamber. This was quite challenging work and I am happy that we have achieved a good outcome that will be cost-effective as well as complementary to the existing furniture design layout.

In essence, a new table will be built for the centre of the chamber which will be slightly separated from the existing Clerk’s desk. The Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Opposition will sit at this table. The mace will be placed in front of the Clerk’s desk. There will be no other changes required to the current horseshoe configuration or to the fittings in this place. For information, I will arrange for sketch plans for the design of the chamber layout to be distributed to members. I will update members again on the project during the first sitting week of 2016.

For now I would particularly like to thank OLA staff, and in particular Ian Duckworth and Celeste Italiano, for their good work in managing this complex project. I am confident of a good outcome for the new Assembly after October next year.

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