Times Past: January 15, 1981 | Canberra time

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The Houses of Parliament that sit proudly on Capital Hill had not yet been built on this day in 1981, as The Canberra Times reported that work on the new building was due to start the following week. This would be just the start of a seven-year construction plan to build the $220 million building. The first major works contract on the project was announced by the Capital Territory Minister, Mr. Hodgman. He said the contract, which was due to be completed in 41 weeks, was primarily for the excavation and movement of materials around the site to create a platform for the new building. Work was originally due to start before Christmas, but after several tender delays, the Parliament House Construction Authority launched a tender on December 2, announcing that it had not received any acceptable tenders. The project authority and architect, Mr. Richard Thorp, took the decision to raise the base of the building by 2.5 metres, necessitating a change in the amount of earth to be moved in the contract. It was understood that the move would save up to $1 million in the cost of earthworks alone. See trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/13922977

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