Not finished yet ... Work continues on the new ASIO central office building Canberra. Photo: Jay Cronan
Ten months after former Labor PM Kevin Rudd officially opened the new Australian Security Intelligence Organisation office, the spooks will finally be moving in.
ASIO director-general David Irvine says it is now expected his agents will move into the building in May.
That follows the official opening held inside the building last July.
Premature ... Former prime minister Kevin Rudd and former attorney-general Mark Dreyfus opened the Ben Chifley Building as the new ASIO headquaters in Canberra in July last year. Photo: Andrew Meares
‘‘The opening went ahead but the completion didn’t,’’ Mr Irvine told a Senate estimates hearing.
Mr Irvine said the hold up stemmed from problems which arose in the pre-completion test phase. That includes fire-proofing and air movement.
‘‘They all need to be fixed and we are being told by the contractors that they should be fixed by the end of May,’’ he said.
This hasn’t been a cheap project - the final budget is now $589 million with overruns of $54.3 million. That stems from scope changes including the decision to co-locate the new cyber-security centre.
Attorney General George Brandis said the former government jumped the gun in proceeding with the official opening before the building was finished.
‘‘The person responsibility for that did get the sack by the Australian people,’’ he said.