Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 15 November 1973
Page: 1862


Senator LILLICO (Tasmania) - Briefly, I find myself in a very similar position to Senator Marriott in that I would like to see both the motion and the amendment defeated. I would like to see Senator Wright allowed to go on with the Bill which he has presented to this place. I believe that, if the members of this Parliament had been able to make a decision years ago, then, in all probability, the site of parliament house would have been decided long ago. I believe that it was a wrong premise that people other than the members of this Parliament should have made a decision as to the site on which the new and permanent parliament house was to be built. Of course, it is a fit and proper proposition that the members of both Houses should be the people to make the decision. I do not believe that the members of both Houses have yet had a fit and proper opportunity to vote. I believe that when the last vote was taken many members were absent. At least that was so on one occasion. This is a decision which should be made when a substantial majority of members are present.

I listened to this debate last week and I heard speaker after speaker traduce the conditions under which the members and the staff in this place do their work. I believe that the conditions under which the members of the Senate, the members of the House of Representatives and the staff of this place work compare favourably with the conditions in any parliament house in Australia, and more so. Certainly they compare favourably with the conditions in Parliament House in New Zealand. When one takes into consideration that wing after wing, comprising 3 floors, has been added to this place, that every member, as far as I am aware, has his own room in which to do his work, that attendants work under at least reasonable conditions, and also the cost of the new edifice, it makes one wonder whether- at this time, when conditions are so inflationary, when the money is needed for other purposes and when there has been a mighty increase of at least 20 per cent in government spending in this country consequent upon the last Budget it is not a most extravagant proposition to go ahead in the near future with the erection of a new parliament house. Be that as it may, I do not believe, unless only as a very last resort, that this House should submerge itself with another place in making a decision on this matter.


Senator Byrne - What does the honourable senator mean by 'submerge 1


Senator LILLICO - I would like to see this motion and the amendment defeated. I would like to see Senator Wright allowed to proceed with his Bill which could then be sent to another place. My reservation about Senator Wright's Bill- and I may be quite wrong- is that I think Capital Hill, in all probability, is not the best site in Canberra for a national garden. But, with that reservation, I say positively that I believe that he should be allowed to proceed with his measure. It gives, as someone said here last week, the very distinct form of legality. The wording of Senator Prowse 's amendment, as far as I am concerned, immediately rules it out of court because I believe that at this time Australia simply cannot afford the millions of dollars which would be necessary to erect the new and permanent parliament house.







Suggest corrections