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Wednesday, 27 May 1998
Page: 3835


Mr SOMLYAY (Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government) (9:40 AM) —I move:

That, in accordance with section 5 of the Parliament Act 1974, the House approves the following proposal for work in the Parliamentary Zone which was presented to the House on 25 May 1998, namely: Erection of signage on and around the headquarters of the National Archives of Australia at East Block.

I am pleased that the member for Canberra (Mr McMullan) is in the chamber because there has been some controversy about this issue and I wish to give the following assurance to the honourable member. In moving this motion, I inform the House that the new signs will not obscure the current East Block signs on the building. I am aware that this name is held in great affection by generations of Canberra residents and others familiar with the parliamentary triangle.

I also remind honourable members that the Australian Heritage Commission has been consulted about the signage and has advised that the design and location of the signs will have no adverse impact on the national estate values of the building. This advice from the Heritage Commission was lodged, with relevant explanatory papers, with the table offices of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The new signs will be in character and appropriate to the new use of East Block as the headquarters of the National Archives of Australia. I commend the motion.