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Wednesday, 1 November 2000
Page: 21913

Mr Martin Ferguson asked Mr Speaker, upon notice, on 3 October 2000:

(1) What is the basis of the practice of changing the Australian flags that hang in the House of Representatives each sitting day, what is the cost of each flag and how much has it cost for each of the last five financial years.

(2) Is he able to say whether the same practice of changing the flags applies in the Senate; if so, what has been the cost of changing the flags for each of the last five financial years.

Mr SPEAKER —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

On 18 April 1997 Speaker Halverson agreed to a program to provide to Members, for presentation to eligible community groups, National Flags which have hung in the House of Representatives Chamber.

It should be noted that the flags are flown outside the Chamber at the Member's Hall entrance and not actually in the Chamber. The four large National Flags hanging at each corner of the Chamber are flown permanently.

Each sitting day two new flags are flown and at the commencement of the next sitting day the flags are removed and replaced with new flags. The flags that have been removed are then made available to Members together with a certificate signed by the Speaker. With the current number of sitting days, approximately 150 flags will be available for distribution to Members each year.

DOFA administers the Constituents Flag Request Program, which allows for both Senators and Members to obtain flags on behalf of their constituents. The program operating within the House of Representatives is part of the DOFA administered flag program. The following information concerning the cost of the flags distributed through the House of Representatives program since the program commenced has been provided by DOFA. The total cost of the flags since 1997 is $45,855.00 with individual flags costing, $83.00. More specific information is as follows:

Date of Purchase



23 March 1997

160 flags


14 January 1998

100 flags


30 November 1998

100 flags


25 August 1999

100 flags


12 April 2000

100 flags


Advice received from the Clerk of the Senate indicates that the Senate displays two National Flags in the Senate Chamber, pursuant to the order of the Senate of 8 October 1992, which are not changed. A copy of the Clerk of the Senate's advice is attached.