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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr STEWART (Wimmera) (Minister for Works and" Railways) .- I move -

That it is not expedient to carry out the construction of Provisional Administrative Offices, with accessory engineering services, at Canberra - a proposed work which has been investigated and reported on by the Parliamentary

Standing Committee on Public Works, in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Public Works Committee Act 1913-1921 ; but that it is expedient to invite competitive designs for Permanent Administrative Offices, as recommended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee in its report.

It is unnecessary for me to go into the detailed reasons for submitting this proposal, beyond saying that there is some doubt whether, if the proposed competition be held, the administrative offices will be ready when Parliament meets at Canberra. We propose to take the precaution of erecting other buildings of a less pretentious character, which may be used subsequently for other official purposes. In the event of the permanent administrative offices not being quite complete by the time Parliament assembles at Canberra, the temporary buildings can be used for the time being. _ Briefly stated, our intention is to adopt the recommendation of the Public Works Committee in regard to calling for competitive designs.

Mr Pratten - Have any arrangements been made to get an impartial adjudication upon the designs?

Mr STEWART -Yes. That will be arranged in a way that will, I believe, give satisfaction to the architectural profession. There will be a fair and independent adjudication of the designs.

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