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Cabinet Anteroom — M90North Wing, Main Floor

This room was built during the 1972 extensions as the anteroom for the Cabinet Room. Cabinet is the group of senior Ministers who meet to make nearly all the major decisions of government. In the Cabinet Room members of the government can argue and disagree, but when decisions are debated openly in Parliament the government presents a united voice. Many of the decisions made in this room still have an effect upon all Australians, our democratic society, and our relationship with the rest of the world.

This room adjoined the Cabinet Room (M88) and a kitchen (M607). Besides the regular users—Cabinet Ministers, Cabinet attendants and Cabinet notetakers—junior Ministers would also use this room for a last minute discussion with their senior Minister, or to await an appearance before Cabinet themselves.

Cabinet meetings were often long and demanding and it was important that Ministers had access to certain facilities during these meetings. A large table with refreshments was often set up in this room and this, and the adjoining kitchen, gave Cabinet Ministers the chance to quickly help themselves to tea, coffee, sandwiches and hot meals.

The Prime Minister’s sitting room originally occupied this space, before reconstruction of the Prime Minister’s Suite in 1972. Built into the wall where the kitchen is today was originally a fold-out wall-bed, for use when all-night sessions demanded the Prime Minister’s presence in Parliament.