Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 378 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
Mr Humphries has informed me that the Heritage Council has already looked at this building - - -
Mr Humphries: No; it is going to.
MR MOORE: It is going to; I am sorry. Mr Humphries has informed me that the Heritage Council already has this building on its list of buildings that it is looking at or is going to look at. So, that will be interesting. There will probably be some delay there; but, really, what we are talking about in Mr Osborne's motion is not a delay. We are talking about the symbolism of this Territory - the symbolism that this Territory is self-governing and that the judiciary is an important part of what happens in this Territory. That is why I will be supporting the motion.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.47): Mr Speaker, I rise in this place to speak about the coat of arms. In regard to some of what has just been said, I believe that there has been a heritage consultancy done on the building. That was mainly in regard to the building, although it did look at the issue of the coat of arms, and it has given the coat of arms a high priority in terms of heritage. Sometime in the next 12 months, it will be up to the Heritage Council to look at that issue again. At this stage, no recommendations have been made. The process that Mr Wood proposes in his amendment seems to be under way, anyway. Any substantial changes to modify a government building may well need a DA to be put in. Clearly, the process allows for public consultation on issues such as heritage before any modification could be made. So, in regard to Mr Wood's amendment, I think that is well in hand and we can leave the process to take care of that.
I think Mr Humphries's amendment is an appropriate one. Mr Humphries's amendment perhaps takes into account some of the issues raised by Mr Wood. It proposes that our coat of arms would be on show in our highest judicial court and that possibly the existing coat of arms could also be left there. But what we have to do, I think, is make our mark. We now have to be firm in our intention to stand alone as a Territory. In the ACT - unlike in the States, where there are other levels of jurisdiction - these functions are bound together to provide that level of service to the Canberra community.
We can look at the situation, historically, all over Australia, and indeed all over the world. For instance, in Ireland there are still lots of British coats of arms on brightly painted, green letterboxes, and they all have "VR" on them. The Commonwealth coat of arms may well have a place in that Supreme Court building; but I think the issue here is that the ACT coat of arms should have precedence in that place and that we should actually be proud of ourselves and proactive in promoting ourselves as an independent Territory.
We have to understand that the Supreme Court is no longer a Commonwealth building. The court's activities have all been transferred to the ACT. One of the ways in which we can make sure that people know that and acknowledge that is to display - as we do in this place, behind you, Mr Speaker - our own coat of arms, which shows that we take responsibility for ourselves. Mr Speaker, I will vote in favour of Mr Humphries's amendment.