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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2842


Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(5.28) —I move:

That in accordance with Section 5 of the Parliament Act 1974, the Senate approves the following proposals contained in the report of the Joint Standing Committee on the New Parliament House presented to the Senate on 7 June 1984, namely:

The temporary enclosure of the verandahs at the main floor level of the Provisional Parliament House on the northern facade of the building.

There is inexorable pressure on accommodation in this building and the temporary enclosure of the verandahs at the main floor level of Parliament House has been proposed as a cost effective and relatively straightforward way of providing some much needed additional office and Party room space. The work would be removed when Parliament vacates the building.

The proposal envisages a simple alteration in which the verandahs would be enclosed by glass, recessed behind the existing masonry pillars in such a way that frames would not be visible from the exterior. The glass would be tinted so that the visual depth of the verandahs remains apparent, and to control sun penetration. The present external glass walls and doors between the verandahs and the adjoining rooms would be kept. A false ceiling would be constructed through which air conditioning and other services would be extended to the enclosed space. The floor would be carpeted but the existing step down to the balconies would remain. Dividing walls along the enclosed space would be erected but only behind the masonry pillars. The existing wrought iron balustrades would of course remain, and below the level of the balustrades, natural ventilation could be incorporated if necessary.

During design, arrangements will be made to ensure that office furniture and materials are kept well behind the new glass wall and the view of the front facade from Parkes Place will not be adversely affected, either by the enclosure of the space or by the siting of furniture, fittings or activities within the offices. No poster or similar material would be permitted to be displayed on the glass. The estimated cost of the work is $90,000. The proposal is an aesthetically satisfactory and economic solution to a very difficult space problem. I therefore commend the motion to the Senate.