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Thursday, 6 March 1980
Page: 700

Senator TATE (Tasmania) - I, too, apologise for keeping the Senate but it will be for only a moment. I wish to discuss certain arrangements relating to the entrance for visitors to Parliament House, particularly the entrance by the front steps leading into Kings Hall. I make no comment on the security arrangements which are thought to be necessary and which have been provided. It seems to me that an undue burden is presently placed on the attendants at the front steps in that as visitors approach those steps the attendants have to race down to them, block the people coming up the steps and then scramble back up, and as their backs are turned another group of tourists or visitors approaches those steps and the attendants scramble down again. It is a situation which I think places undue strain on those attendants.

It seems that it would be a simple matter if some signposts were provided of a modest and moveable type, such as those that stand at the entrance to our lobbies, directing visitors to the understairs entrance. At the moment there is a small lit panel near the understairs entrance, but it is not seen by people approaching the major stairs leading into Parliament House, which normally visitors expect to use to enter Parliament House. I simply ask that those responsible for these arrangements take a look at the situation with a view to relieving the attendants of what seems to be an unnecessary burden. I think this is particularly necessary as we approach more inclement weather in the Budget sitting. We are here only for the Budget sittings, but those attendants have to be there right through the middle of winter. It seems to me that it would be helpful if such signposting were provided for them.

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