The Lodge was tightening its security on this day in 1972, following an incident the previous year.
While guards had increased from two per shift to five per shift (six at nighttime), there was a sense of general discontent among them, according to the wife of a policeman.
ACT Police on embassy guard duty were paid $1 per hour to compensate for lack of shelter during bad weather, and Commonwealth Police guarding the Lodge wanted similar compensation.
ACT Police were paid this compensation while portable guard boxes were built, but there had been no plans made to introduce those same measures at The Lodge.
Those who patrolled the side of The Lodge facing Adelaide Avenue were subject to jeers from motorists passing by, and frequently mistaken by tourists as guides conducting tours of the premises.
The policeman's wife said there had been a constable who was told not to stand away from his post when the lawn sprinklers were turned on. Instead, he was instructed to don his raincoat, even in Canberra's extreme summers.
"They have had several cases of men having to take time off through sunburn because they had no shade to shelter under and now they are getting colds and flu," she said.
"They are provided with no meals or refreshments.
"They have to take their own coffee and sandwiches and eat them in a tiny guard house inside the gate. It was built to hold about four people but there can be up to 11 in there during a shift change."
"The men have the feeling that they are really wasting their time and that the thing could be done a lot better if they would floodlight the walls and have dogs patrolling inside." she said.
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