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Friday, 3 December 1965


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I point out to the honorable member that the purpose of the motion before the Chair is to appoint a select committee to look into this matter.


Mr WENTWORTH - I agree. 1 was making only a passing reference to that matter. There is one other matter which might be germane. That is the interim question. The Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) has said very rightly - the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) rightly has concurred in this view - that the Committee might conclude its deliberations fairly speedily. A few moments ago it was suggested across the table that the Committee might conclude its deliberations by the end of the next calendar year. But even if it does that, it will be not less than 10 years from now before members of the Parliament occupy their new quarters in the new Parliament House. Indeed, there may be good reasons for delaying the actual construction. I agree entirely that the plans should be prepared and ready for implementation. The time of their implementation undoubtedly will depend on the state of the economy from time to time, on whether there are more urgent building projects which should take precedence over this one and on whether there is, as there was in 1961 for example, some kind of economic slackness which could well be taken up by the acceleration of the construction of the new Parliament House.

Even on the most favourable hypothesis, it seems unlikely that it will be occupied within less than 10 years from now. I believe that the needs of members of the Parliament in the interim must receive more attention than they have received in the past. I have been a member of the Parliament for about 15 years. I remember that shortly after I came here I drew attention to the lack of accommodation for private members, to the kind of thing that the Prime Minister very rightly mentioned a few minutes ago and to the need for private members to have some kind-


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member is now debating a matter other than the one before the Chair.


Mr WENTWORTH - All I want to do is to suggest that this Committee, in its deliberations, might pay some regard to the interim needs of private members and that, if the Committee does not do so, they might receive better consideration than they have in the past. As I have said, for 15 years we put up with much greater inconvenience than we have now. It took many years of agitation in this House and elsewhere to achieve-


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The honorable member in engaging in a general debate on the problems of members, the matter of new wings, accommodation and so on, is out of order. The question before the Chair is whether a select committee should be appointed. If the honorable member confines his remarks to the subject matter before the Chair, he will be in order; but if he does not, I think he ought to sit down.


Mr WENTWORTH - Very good, Sir. I will conclude with this remark: I merely suggest that, now that a committee is to be appointed, it might be good concurrently to give some attention to the needs of members of the Parliament in the meantime.







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