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Friday, 3 December 1965


Dr MACKAY (Evans) .- The Prime Minister (Sir Robert Menzies) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) have expressed the hope that the report of the Committee will be available within 12 months. I concur in that, but I make this observation: I hope that the new Parliament House will stand for some centuries and serve a very great nation. Around the world today are to be found some very up to date experiments in this field. I refer to the Parliament House at Kuala Lumpur and other Parliament Houses, which have a great deal to offer. I suggest that members of the Select Committee should visit Parliament Houses such as the one that I have mentioned. Although such visits would cost a certain amount of money, I believe that it would be only a very small amount. The Committee could obtain not only architects' views on the usefulness of that building but also the benefit of the experience of politicians by conferring with the people who use it. They could consider the modern facilities that are provided and the differences of architecture, so that we might have the benefit of the very best the world has to offer.

Mr. CLYDECAMERON (Hindmarsh) 10 years to complete the new Parliament House. I believe that 10 years hence is much too far ahead to be accepted as a reasonable date for the completion of the building. I hope that we will not hear any more about such a target. That brings me to the second point that I want to make - that we may be able to hasten the completion of the building. I am well aware of all that has to be done - the planning, the design and the work that the architects have to put in. I know that people may have to go abroad to look at other Parliament Houses. But that will not take as long as has been suggested. I do not think the Committee ought to be told that it need not bother about presenting a report until the end of the next calendar year. That is too far ahead, too. If members are not prepared to do a better job than that, they ought to announce their inability to work at a faster rate before the members of the Committee are selected, so that we can appoint other members to the Committee and get the job done more quickly.

This is important because there is some validity in what the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth) said about the lack of accommodation here. But I think the honorable member's suggestion that we add more masonry to this present jumble of masonry to cope with our requirements during the 10 years was based upon his assumption, belief or speculation that it may take 10 years to build a new Parliament House. But 1 hope he would agree with me that if we could reduce the time by some years, it would be much better to save the money it would cost to add to this place and devote that money towards the cost of the new building. I think that is the proper approach.

I sum up by saying that I hope the Committee will not be allowed to think that it has a full 12 months before it needs to bother to bring down a report.


Mr Calwell - We might need 12 months.







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