Under construction?

Two major CSIRO building projects – estimated at a combined cost close to $230 million – are facing federal scrutiny as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works conduct public hearings into the proposals.

CSIRO Consolidation Project, Canberra

CSIRO proposes to relocate staff and operations from three sites in the ACT to the Black Mountain facility, and undertake demolition and refurbishment to accommodate the relocation, estimated at a cost of $195.6 million. The first phase of construction is set to take place between July 2014 and April 2016. The second phase of is estimated to run from September 2017 and end in March 2019.

The Staff Association has made a submission to the Public Works Committee supporting the Consolidation Project.

However, the Staff Association submission did raise concerns regarding the suitability of open-plan office accommodation for certain work roles and functions.

The union also questioned the future of childcare services at Black Mountain, especially given the likely impact of increased demand on already stretched waiting lists. Read the complete submission here.

The Public Works Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing into the project on Friday, 28 February 2014 at Parliament House, Canberra. Full details here.

CSIRO Clayton Property Strategy, Victoria

CSIRO proposes to relocate staff and research from the Highett laboratories in Melbourne to the Clayton Site, including the renovation of and fit-out of existing facilities at Clayton; relocation of staff and equipment; and the construction of the Factories of the Future Innovation (FoFi) Centre at Clayton – estimated at a cost of $32 million.

The Highett relocation is estimated to be completed by September 2015. The FoFi Centre is estimated to be completed by December 2015.

The Staff Association has made a submission to the Public Works Committee supporting the Clayton Property Strategy.

The submission repeated the concerns expressed in the Black Mountain submission regarding the suitability of open-plan workspaces for scientists, researchers and engineers – and advocated for the implementation of a participatory design approach that directly involves staff in the implementation of collaborative workspaces.

The union also called on CSIRO to assess the recent expansion of childcare facilities at Clayton to determine ongoing capacity in regards to an expected increase in demand following the Highett relocation. Read the complete submission here.

The Public Works Committee held a public hearing into the project on Monday 17 February 2014 at CSIRO Clayton. Read the transcript here.

More information

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