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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4786

Mr Keogh asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to recent reports in Queensland that work on rural roads has stopped as a result of a delay in receipt of Australian Government grants due to be paid last April.

(2)   Can he say whether the cessation of work on roads on S trad broke Island in the Electoral Division of Bowman has been attributed to this delay.

(3)   Has there been any delay in these payments; if not, can he say why certain local authorities in Queensland have had their rural road funds stopped or curtailed.

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

(1)   Under the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1969, which expired on 30 June 1974, and currently under the Roads Grants Act 1974, Australian Government financial assistance has been made available for rural roads. During the period between the expiry of the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act 1969 and the enactment of the Roads Grants Act 1974, interim financial arrangements were made so that States would have access to funds for road works. Funds have been provided regularly on a monthly basis to the Queensland Government without delay.

(2)   Against this background any cessation of work on roads on Stradbroke Island in the Electoral Division of Bowman would need to be attributed to other causes.

(3)   The level of Australian Government financial assistance to a State for roads is based on an assessment of the State's total requirements including for local roads. However, the distribution between local authorities of finance for rural roads this current financial year is a matter for the State Government.

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