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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4786

Mr Garland asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Did he make a speech in Forrest Place, Perth, in November 1972, during which he undertook, if elected in the then forthcoming elections, to have the Governmentowned Padbury Buildings demolished so that the Forrest Place area could be enhanced and made a central open city area for Perth.

(   2 ) If so, what exactly was the promise made.

(3)   How does he propose to give effect to that promise.

(4)   Did he make any reference in his promise to building a Post Office administration building across the north end of Forrest Place.

(5)   Did he mention any quid pro quo for the demolition of the Padbury Buildings which implied a great increase in the open area.

Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   to (5) In my speech in Forrest Place, Perth on 17 November 1972, I expressed the view that the Australian Government should be involved in providing the people of Perth with an adequate, proper and beautiful square in the centre of the City, and indicated that demolition of the Padbury Building should be part of such a project.

The speech to which the honourable member's question refers was not made from a prepared text and it is not possible, therefore, to verify points of detail such as he has sought. He will be aware, however, that on 20 February 1 974, the former Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable John Tonkin, the Lord Mayor of Perth, Mr Lee-Steer and I issued a joint press statement regarding new planning proposals for part of the central area of Perth including Forrest Place.

The Postmaster-General has recently informed me that his Department's accommodation requirements in Perth, including Forrest Place, are being reviewed following the Government's decision to accept the recommendation of the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Post Office for the establishment of separate Postal and Telecommunications Commissions.

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