23 January 2018

What's that odd structure on top of Parliament all about?

| Ian Bushnell
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The view of Parliament House from Adelaide Avenue next to the Lodge. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

If you’ve been wondering what the scaffolding and structure rising from Capital Hill under the main flag is all about, rest easy – it’s got nothing to do with national security or keeping Parliament House safe from terrorism.

The Department of Parliamentary Services advises that the scaffolding on the roof is a temporary measure and part of a project to safely repair and upgrade all of the 30-year-old skylights at Parliament House.

The work is at present focused on the ones above Members Hall (beneath the main flag), and the Main Committee Room and will move to the Great Hall later this year.

“Parliament House is a working building and this repair work is vital to ensure the building is able to serve as the heart of Australian democracy for the next 170 years. Importantly, Parliament House remains open for visitors during this construction work with exhibitions and tours operating as normal,” a spokesperson said.

“The temporary scaffolding (and weather protective covering) is very important in ensuring this work can be completed safely and efficiently, while also minimising the overall impact on the building (both inside and out).”

Hoarding had also been erected inside on the ground floor, first floor and second floor of Members Hall to ensure the safety of visitors and staff while work on the skylight is under way, the spokesperson said.

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