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National capital works

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The Minister for the Interior, Mr. Anthony, announced today that

Cabinet had approved a further program of works of national imp3rtance

in the central area of Canberra.

He said the work would include improvements to Parkes Place -- the

area immediately in front of Parliament House -- and completion of the

Australian War Memorial.

It was also proposed that an inner ring road be constructed around

Capital Hill to help the movement.. of traffic through the central area.

Mr. Anthony said that, as part df the development of Parkes Place, the

King George V monument in front of Parliament House would be removed from

its present position and relocated in an appropriate position to ,ne side

of the area.

This would assure an uninterrupted vista from Parliament House to the War Memorial across Lake Burley Griffin and an unobstructed view of

Parliament House from the other direction.

Comprehensive development, including landscaping, paving and fountains,

to be carried out in stages, would raise Parkes Place to a standard

appropriate to its prominence and importance.

Mr. Anthony said this development would provide a proper opportunity for public participation in formal state occasions and create a setting

for national buildings already there and others which would be

constructed in the Parliamentary Triangle over decades.

Work on completion of the War Memorial would commence next year

at about the time of the final stages of construction of the National


Mr. Anthony said the building as it now stood was designed specifically

around an existing collection of paintings, relics, dioramas and records

of the 1914-18 War. No provision was made for future extension.

The scope of the War Memorial Act was widened in 1952 to cover all

wars in which Australian servicemen and women had participated, from the

Sudan War to the present day.

"The trustees of the Memorial hold a vast collection of items which

they cannot display and, in addition, items are now being received from

Viet Nam," Mr. Anthony said.

"When the extensions are provided, the trustees will be able t3 give

a balanced exhibition for all the wars," he said.

Mr. Anthony said the Capital Hill ring road was part of the original

Griffin pl an and had been shown by s ubsequent study to be the best way of meeting all requirements.


The road would form part of the major traffic system of the city

and would have the added purpose of protecting the Parliamentary Triangle from the intrusion of through traffic.

Mr. Anthony said there had been very gradual development in the

national capital sector of Canberra since 1959. This had included Lake Burley Griffin and associated landscaping, and two major bridges

and the National Library, due for completion next year.

He said Cabinet had decided that there should be continuity in the provision of national works which would give quality and character to

the national capital.

CANBERRA 5/10/67