Old Parliament House will receive more than $11 million in next week's federal budget to restore its historic lower house chamber and rectify damage to the ageing building.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ben Morton, who announced the funding, said the money would continue preserving the provisional Parliament House and provide support as its Museum of Australia Democracy sustained a financial hit from COVID-19.
The federal budget on Tuesday will include $11.3 million to restore the House of Representatives chamber, and rectify water damage, replace electrical works and undertake other maintenance at the building.
Mr Morton said it was a priority for the federal government to maintain Old Parliament House, which had a vital role in telling the story of Australian democracy through its popular museum.
"It's a building that needs to be cared for and loved, and that requires money," he said.
"If you don't continue to spend capital to ensure that the building is well maintained it will fall into disrepair. I'm pleased that this work is going to rectify problems that are starting to occur in what is an old building and we'll ensure the building is fit for purpose well into the future."
Old Parliament House, which was Australia's centre of federal government for 60 years after opening in 1927, is in need of significant maintenance and repair as it draws closer to its 100th anniversary.
About $1.9 million of the budget funding will let the House of Representatives chamber undergo restoration protecting its heritage fabric, repairs to the ceiling, timber conservation, render stabilisation and paint remediation, window treatment and improvements to accessibility for visitors.
Speaking in the chamber on Thursday, Mr Morton said the space was significant to Australians for different reasons.
"For older Australians, they have memories of historic occasions in this chamber and for young Australians, they get to sit on a floor of a debating chamber that has impacted who we are as a nation today," he said.
"If that means that people will leave here inspired to make a more active contribution to our democracy, to be proud of our democracy in Australia and to understand its strengths, then we've achieved something."
Another $8 million will fund hydraulics upgrades, switchboards replacement and asbestos remediation in the building. The government will also provide $1.4 million over two years in operational funding to let the Museum of Australian Democracy better plan and commit resources for the delivery of its services.
Mr Morton said the funding showed the government was committed to keeping the nation's cultural institutions at the forefront of telling national stories. Planning will begin next financial year and works will start later in 2021.
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