Inaugural Sitting of the Australian Senate at Parliament House

Inaugural Sitting of the Australian Senate at Parliament House


Honourable Senators the President and overseas presiding officers Almighty God we humbly beseech thee to vouchsafe thy special blessing upon this Parliament and and that thou wouldst be pleased to direct and prosper the work of thy servants to the advancement of thy glory and that the true welfare of the people of Australia Our Father which art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us and Lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever, amen Order on the 16th of February 1988 The Senate referred to the Court of Disputed Returns certain questions relating to the place in the Senate representing New South Wales to which William Robert Wood was returned in the 1987 elections on the 12th of May 1988 in answer to those questions The court found that the place in the Senate was vacant I presented to the Senate on the 17th of May 1988 the reasons for judgment of the court in relation to that finding Since the Senate last met the court has made two further orders in relation to the matter referred to it The 7th of June 1988 the court ordered that the Australian Electoral Officer for New South Wales Undertake a further counting and recounting Of the ballot papers cast for candidates in the election to that state For the purpose of determining the candidate entitled to be elected to the vacant place and that the Australian Electoral Officer for the state Report that result to the court on the 21st of July 1988 having received that report The court ordered that Irina Patsi Dunn Be declared elected as a senator for New South Wales in the vacant place in the Senate I now present to the Senate the orders of the court of the 7th of June and the 21st of July 1988 together with reasons relating to the first of these orders Having been declared to be elected Senator Dunn will now be introduced and will make the oath or affirmation Before taking her seat in the Senate as required by the Constitution [inaudible] Admit her Senator Dunn before taking your seat You are required by the Constitution to make and subscribe an oath or affirmation of Allegiance. The clerk will administer the affirmations before me Clerk. Please read the information on the card. Thank you I, Irina Dunn do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II her heirs and successors according to law So, would you please sign the test role and the Senators role The message, order Order, I inform the Senate that I have received a copy of the message from Her Majesty the Queen and The address of his Excellency the governor-general delivered earlier today In the Great Hall to mark the inaugural sittings of the two houses in this building I table the documents, in order that there may be a full written record of today’s events I propose with the concurrence of honourable senators to incorporate the documents in Hansard. There being no objection. It is so ordered on behalf of the Senate. I will thank her Majesty for the message The leader of the government, Senator Button Mr President, I seek leave to move the motion of thanks relating to the presentation of gifts that the Commonwealth Parliament And to those people associated with the planning and construction of the new Parliament House Is leave granted? There being no objection leave is granted Senator Button. Mr President, I move that the following resolutions be agreed to One that the Senate expresses its thanks and appreciation to the parliaments governments and people’s of those countries states and territories and to those organizations which have so graciously presented gifts to Australia’s new Parliament House and Extends a warm welcome to those presiding officers and representatives who are present today Two, that the Senate extends its sincere thanks to the following persons and organisations associated with the planning and construction of the new Parliament House Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp Architects who designed it, the Parliament House Construction Authority Concrete/Holland Joint Venture And all contractors and workers who built it the artists, craftsmen and craftswomen who advised on and assisted in its furnishings and decoration and the members of the Joint Select Committee on the new and permanent Parliament House all past and present members of the Joint Standing Committee on the new Parliament House officers of the National Capital Development Commission parliamentary and other staff Their endeavors in providing a magnificent permanent building to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia Mr. President on the historic first sitting day in this building I should like to take the opportunity to express the appreciation of the Parliament the government and the people of Australia to the parliaments government’s governments and people’s Of those countries states and territories and those organisations which have generously presented gifts to Australia’s new Parliament House It is pleasing the representatives of many of those donors including the provide presiding officers of other Parliament’s Are able to be with us today. The internal spaces of the building now display the embroideries, tapestries paintings, maps, and other gifts Sent here from the four corners of the world and the four corners of Australia. They are already part of this building’s own history Outside there are sculptures benches and trees presented by our friends to add to the environment of the new building It is appropriate. Mr. President. That I make special mention of the gifts located within this chamber The vice-regal chair a gift from the Parliament of United Kingdom, the distinguished visitors chair from New Zealand Parliament Your own chair. Mr President which is a gift from the Canadian Senate and the Hansard table a gift from the government Parliament and people of Tasmania all these gifts will remind us in future generations of parliamentarians of our international ties our Bonds with the Australian states and the responsibilities that we owe to the Australian people to cherish and preserve our system of parliamentary democracy Expressing thanks to those who join us for this special day to those who have presented gifts I believe they share our pride in this building Their generosity indicates of respect in which the Australia’s system of parliamentary democracy is held Mr. President, the care and dedication that has gone into the construction of this building gives us a lasting debt of gratitude to all those men and women who’ve been involved to the architects from Aldo dougela and Richard Thorpe We say thanks for your vision in designing a building in which all Australians present and future can be justly proud We thank also the chairman members and the chief executive of the Parliament House Construction Authority and their staff for their hard work and dedication Throughout the construction phase of the building Concrete/Holland joint venture the construction manager and all the other contractors and workers involved in the project Hereby, their labour made it the remarkable reality it is. We also express. Thanks We also recall the work which has been done by the members of the Joint Select Committee on the new and permanent Parliament House offices of a national capital Development Commission and parliamentary and other staff in the building The new Parliament House embodies the work of over 10,000 men and women With contributions from individuals and manufacturers from every state and territory It’s a national showcase demonstrating the skills and energy of the Australian workforce Mr. President the integration of Australia art and craft into the new building is a key part of its architectural expression The artists, craftsmen, and craftswoman have created significant works now displayed throughout the building the meeting place mosaic designed by Papunya artist Michael Nelson Tjakamarra, and fabricated by Mason’s William McIntosh Aldo Rossi and Franco Colussi Stands in the centre of a ceremonial pool at the heart of the forecourt and is appropriately the first work of art visitors Seen when approaching this building in the Great Hall, the tapestry by fourteen weaver’s of the Victorian tapestry workshop dramatically depicts an Australian coastal landscape created from paintings by Arthur Boyd In the first floor public gallery the embroidery designed by South Australian artist Kay Lawrence And produced by more than 1,000 members of the Embroiders Guild of Australia Narrates the history of Australia’s involvement with the land the marquetry designed by South Australian Tony Bishop and interpreted by Sydney craftsman Michael Retter can be found in the formal entrance foyer and elsewhere in the building Mr. President, there are many more craftspeople and artists who have contributed to the national character of the new Parliament House Tasmanian woodworker Kevin Perkins and others who have handcrafted tables and desks for the use in principal suites is an example Other important works of Australian woodcrafts include the King’s table in the reception hall and display cases in the foyer exhibiting constitutional documents We could of course continue enumerate at length For where we look we see work worthy of praise and interest To all those have worked to give us this new Parliament. I express my sincere Thanks And I hope that many Australians will have the opportunity to share our gratitude to end indeed excitement when visiting the Parliament House Leader of the Opposition Senator Chaney. Mr President on behalf of the opposition I support the motion Which has been moved by the leader of the government the expression of thanks to the very many people who have contributed to This building I agree with him that and with you, Mr. President that it’s very appropriate that representatives of the parliaments and governments and people who have made contribution to this place are here today to hear the Expressions of thanks and the formal motion which will make that a part of our permanent Senate record. I I think that There is some contention about this building, Mr. President and not least among the Senators and Members who will occupy I think it’s an indication of the conservative nature of human beings that so many of us are finding it difficult to Fit into our new and very splendid Environment, but I have no doubt. Mr. President that I absolutely no doubt Mr. President that Those who contributed the various items that have been further by the leader of the government Hope that those items will inspire us to do our work in a fitting way for Australia. I’d want to make two comments about the building if I may Mr. President one is that The concern about the separation of ministers from the back bench, which is such a strong feature of the design of this building may lead Legislators in this place to be more conscious of their role as legislators And I know that already some retired public servants have written about the possible uses of the new committee rooms and the change that that might induce and I think that it may well be that the form of the parliament will of the Parliament house Will have a significant impact on the way this Parliament does operate With respect to all those have been thanked. I can I think in full heart on behalf of the Opposition say that we support the Sentiments which have been expressed by Senator Button. I do think however that it is also fitting to note that in the construction of this place The very enormous cost was considerably expanded by the very frequent And absurd restrictive work practices Which afflicted this building site and the one group that are emitted the group who are admitted from the motion of thanks The Waste Watch Committee of the opposition and the rort’s taskforce who incurred considerable unpopularity in drawing attention to some of the quite extraordinarily Wasteful things which occurred on this site and I do want to remind the Senate I don’t remind the senators we although have passed this motion of thanks that this very expensive building was rendered far more expensive By some of the extraordinary practices which were carried on at this place unfortunately in common with other commercial building sites in this country and Mr. President We found when examining this that People were reluctant to talk about what was happening because they were frightened of reprisals But I just wish to remind the Senate that as this building was being built People were being paid a specific allowance just to show up at work That nicking off that practice of arriving at work and they’re not actually staying to do a day’s work was common That there were endless health and safety strikes which were extremely wasteful that there was climbing time of 2 hours paid the crane drivers who took about 45 seconds to Actually climb the cranes in question. And I do think that one could extend that best very considerably. In fact, I know that this probably Standard vary considerably Mr. President with respect to the clothing allowance Which was paid no matter how little time was spent here the excessive site allowance and the extraordinary range of strikes Which were so damaging to many of the contractors who worked here, but Mr. President I mentioned that because I hope that was a Order. Very strong feature … Order. … erection of this building and I do note that the Foreign Affairs Minister designate Who will I’m sure will be leaving this place very frequently and for that we’re all Mercifully relieved seeks to intervene but Mr President in what is I think a most splendid building full of the most splending objects and artifacts? I just expressed that one element of regret that it was made so much more expensive for the people of Australia Than otherwise would have been required in all other respects. I heartily join in the sentiments which been expressed by Senator Button the leader of the Australian Democrats Senator Haines Thank, Thank You. Mr. President. I Want to associate the Australian Democrats with the motion of appreciation moved by Senator Button to those countries, states, and organisations Who presented gifts to the new Parliament House. Senator Button has already referred to many of those gifts Certainly, the antique maps, and aluminium sculptures, the trees, and the tapestries, the chairs, and Chinese lanterns, The crystal glasses, and candelabra, the teak benches Bronze busts, books on young Australians, stone lions, and porcelain figures to say nothing of clocks and wall hangings of every kind Will adorn the new Parliament House and its environs thanks to the generosity of the rest of the world Many countries are very different political systems and ideology as well as Australian states and national Organisations have presented the Parliament with a wonderful array of exotic and beautiful gifts. I think it’s particularly appropriate That we share the chamber today with representatives of many of the countries Donating those gifts The President’s chair, the Hansard tables, coats of arms, our distinguished visitors chair, painting, sun dials, and drinking fountains The vice-regal chair in the senate, and dinner services and furniture for special rooms will become I think Priceless possessions of those of us who work here and those who will follow us Essentially these gifts ensure that we want for nothing as far as decorations Accoutrements and creature comforts are concerned they combined with the mosaic, the tapestry, the parquetry and so on produced by Australian artisans and artists to make this building truly unique and Something Australians can view and visit with pride in supporting this motion I want to echo the Governor General’s inauguration address by wishing us all well in this place of business and Expressing the hope that the august and impressive surroundings which make up our permanent Parliament House lead us and our successors to draft and debate legislation In a true spirit of goodwill and concern for the well-being of the nation in the long term rather than our own short-term political gains Order. The question is that the resolutions moved by Senator Button be agreed to. Those of that opinion say aye. Contrary no, I Think the ayes have it Senator Evans, Mr. President move that the Senate now adjourn. The question is that the Senate do now adjourn, those of that opinion say aye. Contrary, no, I think the ayes have it. Order. The Senate stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.