Tony Powell, commissioner of the National Capital Development Commission between 1974 and 1985, said a misguided commitment to heritage values meant the building had been preserved despite its lack of real historical importance.
Mr Powell said as commissioner of the NCDC he had argued to the government that the many extensions to Old Parliament House should be stripped off, as in its current form the building blocked land access from new Parliament House to the lake and because the original building was more architecturally attractive, but his proposal was rejected.
''That's an example of where a misjudged idea of heritage importance is blocking the forward development of the whole Parliament House and its precinct as a complex. That's a bad use of heritage as a justification for not doing anything,'' he said.
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Models, and Corporate Branding of NCDC, National Capital Development Commission designed and produced by Vlad Mosmondor, 1975.