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Tuesday, 15 March 2005
Page: 57


The PRESIDENT (4:13 PM) —I have just been made aware that Senator Brown may be introducing an amendment. I would like to say that a discussion paper about access to the side and ministerial entrances will be circulated in the next few weeks. The Speaker and I have given an undertaking that the bollards which are to be installed on the slip-roads will not be activated until access arrangements for people who work here are settled. This issue in itself does not affect the request which has been made here today to extend the deadline for the removal of the last white plastic barriers.

I would like to remind the Senate that, in regard to the issue Senator Bartlett raised about the white barriers, the papers that have been lodged with the Table Office make it quite clear that the majority of the white plastic barriers will be removed by the original deadline—that is, the end of this month. But, because of delays in shipments of certain equipment from the USA, that was beyond the power of the Department of Parliamentary Services. That means that this extension to the end of June has been necessitated. The white plastic barriers will be removed from the front of Parliament House by the end of March, as originally planned. Other barriers will be progressively removed over the following three months. I think I explained about the unavoidable delay at the estimates hearings of the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee. The matter has now been considered by both the Senate Appropriations and Staffing Committee and the Joint House Committee, so I was hoping that we could commend that motion to the Senate.