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Thursday, 29 May 1969

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Supply) - I ask for leave to make a statement on behalf of the Prime Minister (Mr Gorton).

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT- There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator ANDERSON - The debate on the siting of the new and permanent parliament house has now proceeded over the past 9 months. It resulted from the Government's decision of last August to have a free, non-party vote on the question of a site, and that debate provided a full opportunity for members and senators to express their views. The original proposal for the lakeside site was clearly unacceptable to the majority of the members in each House and it was abandoned. Subsequently the Joint Select Committee representative of all Parties and in both Houses, after hearing and studying public and expert evidence from all those wishing to come forward, overwhelmingly recommended to Parliament that the new parliament house should be sited at Camp Hill, as originally recommended by Burley Griffin, the designer of Canberra. In the resultant debate the House of Representatives voted to agree with the recommendations of that Committee, while the Senate voted to disagree with it. The Senate has also voted against a joint sitting and the position is quite unresolved. It cannot be allowed to remain unresolved because of the need for planning and construction of other works and therefore the Government, feeling that a decision must be made, has decided to inform the National Capital Development Commission that Camp Hill will be the site of the new parliament house.

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