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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3269

Senator WITHERS (Western AustraliaLeader of the Opposition) - I was assured by the Chairman of the National Capital Development Commission- I take his word for it- that clause 5 applies only to the High Court. Every documentation stage has a technical meaning for architects, builders and engineers. Evidently the documentation stage means the stage at which all the preliminary plans have been done, the working drawings have been completed, the quantity surveyor's report has been obtained, the project has gone to tender, the tender has been accepted and the successful tenderer has signed the contract. I understand that the moment that happens that is the documentation stage.

Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson - That is not my complete understanding of documentation. But if they say that, I will accept it.

Senator WITHERS -That is what I understood the Chairman of the NCDC to mean by the documentation stage. It is when all the documents which are required to commence a building have been completed; not the preparation of the documents.

Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson - No, but approval is the thing I am talking about.

Senator WITHERS -As I read the clauses of the Bill now, anything that has been documented up to the signing of a contract to 1 December 1 974 does not come to Parliament, but anything that is done within the Parliamentary Triangle after 1 December 1974, for which no documents have been signed, will come to the Parliament. As I understand Mr Powell, at present the only building affected is the High Court building. I do not know how far advanced it is. It certainly has its foundations down, I understand. Has it not? I think it has its foundations down. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Senator Cavanagh), who in this chamber represents the Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr Les Johnson), may have better knowledge of that than I have. As I understand the position, that is the only building over which Parliament will not have authority.

Senator Sir Kenneth Anderson - Which relates to this clause?

Senator WITHERS -Yes, which relates to this clause.

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