Australia’s Parliament House—more than 25 years in the making! A chronology

Dr Joy McCann
Politics and Public Administration Section

with Dr Dianne Heriot, Parliamentary Librarian



Search: 25th Anniversary Chronology



Australian Parliament House during the Enlighten Festival

Planning the building, 1975‒1978

1975 | 1977 | 1978

 

1975

Joint Standing Committee on the New Parliament House

 
 

Parliament establishes a Joint Standing Committee on the New and Permanent Parliament House as the client for the planning, design and construction of the building. [1]

The Committee produces a number of reports and recommends that the designer be selected through an open two-stage architectural competition. It also endorses a timetable to complete the first stage of approximately 51 100 square metres of usable area by 26 January 1988, and the second stage to be completed sometime after the year 2000. During development of the competition brief, the Committee acknowledges that the construction may be undertaken in one major stage, and requests an overall master plan to guide future expansion. [2]

1977 The right to vote in referenda  
  On 21 May 1977 residents of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are given the right to vote in constitutional elections following a successful referendum to amend section 128 of the Constitution. The question gains a YES vote in every state.

Constitution Alteration (Referendums) Act 1977 (No. 84 of 1977)

Constitution Alteration (Referendums) Act 1977 (No. 84 of 1977)

Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

1977

Canberra exhibition

 
 

The National Capital Development Commission stages an exhibition to illustrate how Canberra will be developed.

It includes impressions of a hypothetical scheme for Parliament House on Capital Hill prepared by Canberra architect, Bert Read. The scheme is on public display for several weeks, and appears in published reports from the Joint Standing Committee on the New and Permanent Parliament House. [3]

1978

A permanent Parliament House

 
 

On 22 November 1978 Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser (LP, Member for Wannon, Vic., 1955‒83) announces that the building of a new Parliament House will proceed, to be completed by Australia Day 1988 in the bicentennial year of European settlement, at an estimated cost of $151 million. [4]



Footnotes

  1. Parliament House Construction Authority, Project Parliament: the management experience, Parliament House Construction Authority, Canberra, March 1990, p. 3.

  2. Parliament of Australia, Joint Standing Committee on the New and Permanent Parliament House, AGPS, 1977‒81.

  3. The New and Permanent Parliament House, Canberra, first report of the Committee on the New and Permanent Parliament House, Canberra, AGPS, 1977.

  4. House of Representatives, Debates, 22 November 1978, viewed 12 February 2013, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A
    %22hansard80%2Fhansardr80%2F1978-11-22%2F0095%22

National Archives of Australia
National Film and Sound Archive National Library of Australia National Portrait Gallery



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