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Thursday, 26 February 1987
Page: 819

Madam SPEAKER —I present a statement on cost savings on the New Parliament House project from the Joint Standing Committee on the new parliament house. Honourable members will be aware of recent Press articles and public comments regarding expenditure cuts on the new parliament house and, in particular, the effect of cost-saving decisions on the landscaping for the building. Press articles have included a number of inaccuracies in respect of the role and responsibility of the Joint Standing Committee on the New Parliament House during the process which led to the final decisions.

The Committee has considered the Press reports and has authorised the President and me as joint Chairmen to table a statement clarifying these matters. It is clear to the Committee that many of the inaccuracies in the Press reports would not have occurred if the authors of the statements had been aware of the contents of the report of the Committee entitled `Report on Certain Aspects of the New Parliament House Project' which was tabled in the House on 27 November 1986. Three particular aspects of the Press articles require some comment. It has been alleged that the Committee's mistakes were its failure to consult the architects, its selfishness and the secrecy of some of its deliberations. These assertions have been refuted in the Committee's statement, which I now table. I urge honourable members and others who are interested in the project to read the statement together with the report of the Committee which was tabled in November last year.

Ordered that the paper be printed.