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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 11 August 2016) . . Page.. 2783 ..

I am advised that upgrading the remaining elements of the HVAC system, mainly on the ground floor, represents a major logistical and engineering challenge. It is likely that these works will have to be done during the next Assembly during a time when the chamber and committee rooms can be taken offline for an extended period. I am advised that this work will be complex and, as such, it is expected to be costly. There were also upgrades of most of the general bathrooms and many have told me this is a significant improvement in the amenity of the building. These works cost $234,000.

Members will be aware that, early on in the works schedule, the contractors detected the presence of bonded asbestos in some areas of old flooring. Whilst this work was a little disruptive to some staff, we completed the removal of the asbestos safely and without any significant slippage in the construction time frame. The cost of those unexpected works was $115,000.

Despite the quite extensive additional works that have been funded from the original appropriation—totaling $1.578 million—a small quantity of funds still remains available. The Treasurer recently agreed to a proposal that I put to him—which was supported by Ms Burch in the estimates committee—that those funds be made available for the replacement of furniture in the 13 original non-executive suites. Much of that furniture was acquired when the Assembly moved into this building in 1994 and has well and truly passed its use-by date. The remaining funding is modest, but the OLA accommodation project team is currently preparing some options for consideration.

A couple of weeks ago, the Chief Minister and I jointly hosted a morning tea to mark the completion of the works and we took the opportunity to thank all those involved in this project. I am sure members will agree that the project team—the contractor, Built, and the OLA staff—have delivered an excellent and cost-effective accommodation solution to cater for the expanded Assembly. In the process, they have also delivered important additional upgrades from within the original funding envelope. The final result is a more contemporary Assembly building providing a pleasant working environment for all occupants.

I heartily commend the work of all those involved. I thank them for their commitment to working with everyone in this building not only to improve its amenity but also to do the works in a cooperative manner and with the least disruption to the working of this building.

Members, the other task that is underway is to make some changes to this chamber to accommodate the enlarged Assembly. Tomorrow I will be visiting the factory of Designcraft in Hume to view the new centre table. The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister will sit on one side of the new table opposite the leader and deputy leader of the opposition. The existing bookshelves will be re-imagined as a very welcome and attractive addition to the two chamber lobbies, giving them a lift in the standard of their furniture, and providing them with an aesthetic link to the chamber itself.

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