Former Australian government architect, Roger Pegrum, recalls sheltering from the rain beneath the buildings’ cloisters in his childhood.

He explained the Canberra city centre was now consolidating around the buildings, and it was essential that the gateway buildings are maintained in good shape.

The present condition of the buildings has prompted the ACT Government to propose new legislation that would force owners to fix the exteriors.

The legislation would provide the City Renewal Authority with the power to declare a building to be significant, and then prepare a revitalisation plan mandating external repairs or improvements within a set time.

If the buildings’ owners don’t comply, the authority could then execute the repairs and charge the owners.

The authority recently sought input from the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings’ owners on how the legislation would work.

In a letter, Mr Snow said the authority needed to work with the owners to produce laws that would encourage them to present the buildings at their very best.