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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1996

Senator CHANEY (Western Australia) - I would like to speak in support of Senator Button's amendment. In doing so, I would adopt the argument already put to the Senate by Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson and, indeed, by Senator Button himself. It is a little difficult to rise to speak in a debate following upon representations that have been made by honourable senators in regard to the calls by world famous architects for the preservation of this building. But it seems to me that this is a decision which has to be made by those of us who are presently members of the Parliament. We have to make the decision on the basis of what we see as being the real future of Parliament House. I am sure that, if we are united on one subject, we are united on the fact that this building is an inadequate parliament house and we must have a new one. The only question before us at the moment is whether the new parliament house ought to go on Camp Hill or Capital Hill.

I would like to refer to just a couple of the arguments that were put by honourable senators during the second reading debate. Firstly, I think that Capital Hill is worthy of preservation in its present form because it is a pleasant aspect of Canberra which is unlikely to be improved by any man made structure. Secondly, I reject the arguments which have been put forward and which suggest that Parliament should dominate Canberra in some way. I agree with the arguments that have been put to the contrary, namely, that Parliament should form part of the city and not dominate it. Finally, I say that there are practical considerations which should interest all of us who are not within 2 years of retirement, or hopefully are not within 2 years of retirement. These considerations include the point that if we opt for a parliament house on Capital Hill it is extremely unlikely that any benefit will be received from it within the lifetime of the youngest of us here. It seems quite clear that if a parliament house is to be built on

Capital Hill it will be many years- probably close to a generation- before Parliament can move into it. So, for a combination of practical, theoretical, and aesthetic reasons, I support Senator Button 's amendment.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be left out (Senator Button's amendment) be left out.

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