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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4549

Mr Bennett asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Will be take steps to direct each Minister who has the use of three rooms in Parliament House to make available one room for the use of private Members.

(2)   If not, will he consult with the Presiding Officers on the feasibility of providing prefabricated accommodation in the Parliamentary gardens.

(3)   Does the Government intend to proceed with the proposal for a new and permanent Parliament House; if so, when.

(4)   If not, what alternative proposals are intended to improve the accommodation available to private Members and Parliamentary staff.

(5)   How much longer can private Members expect to be required to remain three and two Members to a room.

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

(1)   to (5) The difficult accommodation problem of which ali honourable members are aware will nol be solved simply by shifting the problem from one place to another. The Government has attempted to provide a partial answer in the extensions to Parliament House that are now under way. When these works were authorised the additional space that was to be provided enabled the then Presiding Officers to say that the reasonable accommodation requirements of Members and Senators would be met. The demands of the Parliament, however, are growing and some further attention to this pressing problem is clearly necessary. 1 am sure this is engaging the attention of the Presiding Officers. It is also a mailer which is kept under review by the Government.

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