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Historic Old Parliament House Gardens to get a major facelift.

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12 October 2000 M181/2000


The first stage of a major project to reconstruct the historic Old Parliament House Gardens in Canberra was launched today by the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald.

Speaking at the start of work on the reconstruction project, Senator Macdonald said he looked forward to seeing the gardens returned to their former glory.

"The gardens will become a welcoming place where people can walk and enjoy the atmosphere."

"While the gardens have always been popular for weddings, the works will make this culturally significant landscape more accessible," Senator Macdonald said.

"They will become a valuable link with the past and an important new cultural attraction for the National Capital."

When the provisional Parliament House was opened in 1927, the surrounding plains were windswept and generally treeless. Within months, hedges were planted. Soon after, a tennis court, cricket pitch and a bowling green were established.

In the 1930s, the Secretary of the Joint House Department, Robert Broinowski completed the overall layout of the gardens.

Stage one of the restoration includes the removal and replacement of the original hedges which have become woody and are now in poor health.

The new hedges have been grown at a local Canberra nursery and having reached an average height of two and a half metres, now is the perfect time to plant them

Stage one of the reconstruction programme will cost $330,000.

The National Capital Authority is seeking patronage for the ongoing project including:

The reconstruction of the rose gardens to their original layout ● New gateways and entrances ● Addition of pergolas, arbours, seating pavilions and climbing structures in 1930s period style ●

"This restoration is part of the Federal Government’s plan to make the national icons within our National Capital more attractive and accessible for all Australians," Senator Macdonald said.

Media Contacts:

David Moore, Senator Macdonald's Office: (02) 6277 7060 Jeremy Lasek, National Capital Authority: (02) 6271 2812

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Wednesday, 18 October 2000