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Friday, 12 June 1970


Mr Allan Fraser (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Prime Minis ter, upon notice:

(1)   Has he stated on behalf of the Government that it is the responsibility of State governments to determine the extent to which the financial resources available to local government should be supplemented and by what means.

(2)   How is this reconcilable with the attitude taken by the Government in the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1969.

(3)   Is the Prime Minister's statement correct that under this legislation $380.4 million is being mtde available to the State of New South Wales, an increase of $171.3 million, or 82% over the previous period.

(4)   Is it also correct that under this same Act the Government legislated to ensure that local government would receive only a 5% cumulative increase each year in money for rural roads, an amount barely sufficient, if at all, to meet rising inflationary costs.

(5)   If the Government can legislate in this way to the detriment of local government, why can it not legislate to the benefit of local government in this or other fields.


Mr Gorton - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   There is no conflict between this attitude and the provisions of the Commonwealth Aid

Roads Act 1969. That Act provides for grants to State Governments, not local authorities, for expenditure on roadworks.

(3)   Yes.

(4)   No. There is no provision in the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1969 for the payment of grants to local authorities. However, subject to broad limitations arising from the requirement that the major portion of the roads grants have lo be expended on certain prescribed categories of roads or on planning and research, State governments may, at their discretion, allocate any portion of their grants to local authorities. Further, the Commonwealth Act does not prevent Slate governments from allocating their own funds to local authorities for expenditure on rural roads.

The honourable member may be referring to the Commonwealth grant for expenditure on rural roads, other than rural arterial roads'. The 1969-70 grant for these roads was determined by increasing by 5% the amount which each State government was required to spend on secondary rural roads from the Commonwealth grant provided under the previous Act in 1968-69. The grant for rural roads other than arterial roads for the remaining years of the current legislation increases by 5% per annum. However, this is not the only Commonwealth grant for rural roads under the new legislation. For the first time the Commonwealth is also making a grant specifically for rural arterial roads and, over the five years ending. June 1974, this grant will total almost $187 million. This means that, including the grant for rural roads other than arterial roads, Commonwealth grants specifically for expenditure on roads in rural areas for the five years will be over $581 million. In thi five years ' ending June 1.969 the total of Commonwealth grants specifically allocated for rural roads-that is, for secondary rural roads only - was $300 million. In the case of New South Wales, in the current five years Commonwealth grants for rural arterial roads will total almost $64 million and for other iwa! roads almost $110 million: in the previous quinquennium the Commonwealth grant to New South Wales for secondary rural roads was less than $84 million.

(5)   See answers to (1), (2) and (4).

Public Service Board: Backlog of Claims (Question No. 887)


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Prime

Minister, upon notice:

What is the backlog of unheard and/or unfinished claims now before the (a) Public Service Board and (b) Public Service Arbitrator and his deputies.


Mr Gorton - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a)   and (b) The Public Service Arbitrator has advised that as at 22 May 1970 there were 114 matters either unheard or unfinished, and that in no case has an applicant sought a conference or a public hearing and been refused. The Public Service Board has informed me that in addition to a number of these 114 matters to which the

Board is a Respondnet, there were at the same date, 19 outstanding pay claims lodged directly by staff associations with the Board. If pay claims by several staff associations covering the same group are taken into account, the number of outstanding pay claims is 15 as at 22 May 1970.

Fire Brigades: Turn out Times (Question No. 972)


Mr Charles Jones asked the Minister for

Shipping and Transport, upon notice

Can he say what is the turnout time in South Australia of:

(a)   a fire station manned by volunteer firemen and

(b)   a full brigade station.


Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I understand the turnout lime for a permanent brigade in South Australia is well under one minute. Naturally for a volunteer fire brigade the turnout time is longer and depends on the lime it takes volunteers to reach the Station. In the case of the 'Amanda Miller' fire the time from the sounding of the city alarm to turning out was about four to five minutes.







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