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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2843


Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(5.32) —I move:

Leave out all words after 'That', insert, 'the Senate refer the proposal contained in the report of the Joint Standing Committee on the new Parliament House presented to the Senate on 7 June 1984, namely: The temporary enclosure of the verandahs at the main floor level of the Provisional Parliament House on the northern facade of the building, back to the Joint Standing Committee for further consideration of the matters raised in the minority report of that Committee'.

I move that amendment after discussion of the report in my party room today. We consider the matters raised in the dissenting report are worthy of some further consideration. We note that Senator Baden Teague, Senator Margaret Reid and Mr Phil Ruddock MP have raised a number of matters. I refer to paragraph 6 of the report which states:

The alternative of providing additional Ministerial space elsewhere in the building or in the proposed temporary extension approved by the Committee does not appear to have been adequately considered.

The report makes a number of suggestions, including the fact that the proposal has been hastily and inadequately prepared. There is no detailed breakdown of cost and no breakdown of materials used. Here we are dealing with a matter concerned with the facade of Parliament House. Whilst it is true that this is probably the greatest example of repairs and renovations in the history of the building-there have been endless changes and extensions to it, both to the facade and to the interior-there is concern that the glazing-in of the balconies on the front of the building may not be necessary and may deleteriously affect the appearance of the building. We would like to see this matter given some further consideration by the Joint Standing Committee. At this stage we do not wish to take outright opposition to the proposal but we certainly think it warrants another look.