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Presiding Officers open Fountains

21 August 2020
Presiding officers standing in front of plaque commemorating opening

The Presiding Officers, Hon Kate Doust and Hon Peter Watson, officially acknowledged the opening of the Parliament’s Fountains accommodation on 12 August 2020.

The Parliament House Fountains have looked over the city of Perth since they were first constructed in 1971 – an iconic water feature stretching over two levels and complemented by terraced gardens. However, in 2006 the Fountains were decommissioned due to serious structural issues, major water leaks and the prohibitive cost of repairs. The increasing need for water conservation was also a contributing factor to the closure of the Fountains.

Over the next 10 years the Fountains became increasingly dilapidated, with structural issues now visible from the adjoining Freeway.

In 2018, an extreme shortage of office space within Parliament House prompted the decision to commence a three-year building project to restore the Fountains structure and repurpose it as parliamentary accommodation.

Parliament worked closely with the Heritage Council, Perth City Council and the WA Planning Commission to ensure the design of the new accommodation mirrored the original Fountains concept.

The selection of 12 large window panels to fill in the section between the concrete columns was designed to replicate the original pavilion with views over the city. All internal furnishings have been carefully selected to not obstruct the view into the Fountains.

The restored Fountains, which includes amenities for up to 24 staff, two meeting rooms and a lift, was fully occupied in January.

In opening the Fountains, Hon Kate Doust, President of the Legislative Council, said, ‘Most people have childhood memories of seeing the fountains flowing and lit up in the evening drawing people’s attention to Parliament House.’

Hon Peter Watson, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly said, ‘The project has been an outstanding success and has ensured that the protection of this iconic heritage.’