Topic: Public Facilities
THE EDITOR, Sir:
With regard to the current debate about constructing a new Parliament building, it may prove informative to consider a similar case involving the construction of the new Australian parliament building completed 18 years ago.
Australia's provisional Parlia-ment House was built in 1927 in their then new national capital Canberra and was intended to last only 50 years. After 38 years in the facility, a joint select committee of parliament was constituted to consider the need for a new building. Five years later, in 1970, this committee recommended that the planning, design and construction of the new building should be overseen by a joint standing committee.
In 1977, the joint standing committee recommended that the new parliament building be completed for occupation in 1988 (75 years after the completion of the provisional parliament building) to coincide with the bicentenary of European settlement of Australia.
It took them two years to establish a comprehensive set of requirements for the building and a statutory body was established and charged as project managers for the design and construction of this building alone. The whole process took 23 years from constitution of the joint select committee to occupation of the new parliament building.
Granted our Parliament would be much smaller, but the neccessary planning, design and eventual construction will most likely take longer than a single parliamentary term, and maybe we need a specific event to commemorate, such as the 50th year of independence.
I am, etc.,
PAUL HAY Capital Projects
15a Cassia Park Road