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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1363

Senator DEVITT (TASMANIA) - I address my question to you, Mr President. When I 0am( here in 1965 a room was available adjacent to Kings Hall where visitors who were guests of senators and 'members could be taken, and certain limited facilities were provided. With the expansion of Ministerial suites, this room was taken over and has never been replaced. 1 ask: Would it not be fitting and in keeping with the functions and dignity of the Parliament if a suitable room for our increasing number of guests could be once again made available, so that people wishing to meet their representatives could be taken there for interviews and similar purposes?

The PRESIDENT - In answer to the honourable senator, I point out to him that I have discussed the question of accommodation and the pressures on accommodation with the House Committee of the Senate, which is fully aware of the situation in which the Senate and its Presiding Officer find themselves. The problem of being able to meet the quite proper desires of Senator Devitt involves the fact that some additional rebuilding is to be carried out in connection with Parliament House. In the meantime, the Senate end of the Parliament has had to find space equivalent to 3,500 sq ft to provide for a secretariat, Cabinet rooms, and the necessary accommodation for the Prime Minister's suite while what is known at 'the nob' is being completed at the House of Representatives end of the building. I have also had discussions with the House Committee about this matter. 1 wish to inform honourable senators that I am in the process of taking some planning action which will mitigate the circumstances in which we have found ourselves as a result of the temporary alienation of 3,500 sq ft of space. At that juncture I will seek to reestablish that which my predecessor conceded, namely, a waiting room in Kings Hall.

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