Joint Statement by the Presiding Officers on the condition of the Australian flag at Parliament House

Issue date: Wednesday, 8 March 2023

The national significance and the importance of the Australian flag cannot be overstated. We are aware of the unacceptable condition of the current Australian Flag flying above Parliament House. 

In regular conditions, the Australian flag that flies above Parliament House is changed approximately every four weeks – typically the first Wednesday of each month. 

Recently, Canberra has experienced high winds and thunderstorms. Changing the flag is a dangerous and complex undertaking due to the sheer size of the flag and the high wind conditions at that elevation. Weather conditions must be favourable to ensure a safe changeover can take place. Recent weather conditions have posed an unacceptable risk to the safety for personnel to replace the current flag. 

When there was an opportunity for staff to safely ascend the pole, the lift mechanism experienced a mechanical fault. 

The transport mechanism is urgently undergoing maintenance and the flag changeover will occur as soon as it is possible and safe to do so.