The Australian flag flying over Parliament House is not required to be made in Australia, a Senate committee has heard.
Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan on Monday quizzed Department of Parliamentary Services officials on the tender process to buy the 13-metre-wide flag which dominates the Canberra landscape.
Department secretary Carol Mills said that under the government’s tendering guidelines she was able to specify quality and design but not place of origin for the flags.
However she said the department had a “philosophy” that Australian-made flags should be bought.
“We can’t breach guidelines for procurement … (but) my understanding is that our present flags are indeed Australian-made.”
The department is assessing tenders for new flags and testing their quality to withstand Canberra weather.
Senate President John Hogg declined to give an opinion on Aussie-made flags.
“It would be improper for me to impose my views upon the secretary of a statutory department,” he told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Monday.