The federal government announced plans for a $151 million new and permanent Parliament House in Canberra, reported The Canberra Times, on this day 42 years ago.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said the building would open in 1988, the bicentennial anniversary of the first European settlement in Australia. The old Parliament House was built in 1927 after parliament relocated from Melbourne to the new capital, Canberra. However, the building had become outdated and ill-equipped to keep up with the demands of a modern parliament.
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said parliament was hampered in performing its duties due to the building.
"It would clearly be extraordinarily difficult to renovate or modify this building to provide necessary services and facilities for the years ahead," he said.
Opposition leader Bill Hayden was more direct in his evaluation and called the Old Parliament House "a fire trap" which was beyond repair. "This building does not offer any prospect of enduring to serve future generations," he said.
The first stage of the project was a competition where Australian-registered architects were asked to submit a design for the new building. Ultimately, the design by Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects was chosen from 329 entries.
Mr Fraser said the new Parliament House would take its place among other great buildings which symbolised Australia's culture.
"It will be the centre point of modern Canberra, the peak of the Parliamentary Triangle ... a place in which the affairs of the nation can be conducted in a more efficient way," he said.