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Wednesday, 3 November 1976
Page: 2265

Mr BAUME (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) -My question is directed to the Minister for Transport. On 3 June I asked him whether he would agree to divert to the Illawarra region export road grants made to the Botany Bay area. That request was followed by his recent announcement of a $2m export road grant to the Illawarra area. I now ask the Minister whether $5m still remains available in Federal funds for New South Wales because of the decisions of the New South Wales Government to delay the development of Botany Bay. Will the Minister divert more export road grants to roads linking Wollongong with the inland coal mining areas and, via the Macquarie Pass, with the Southern Highlands if the New South Wales Government makes this request?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I draw attention to the end of the question. It raises a hypothetical situation. The earlier parts of the question permit of answer, but I do not call upon the Minister to answer the hypothetical part of the question.

Mr NIXON - The keen interest of the honourable member for Macarthur in seeing the road problems of his area solved is well known in the House. I was delighted to be able to assist him the other day by the announcement of the grant for an export road for the carriage of coal. Taking the hypothetical situation, certainly if the Minister for Transport in New South Wales were to put to me a request for transfer of funds from one section of the Roads Grants Act to another section of that Act or from one Act to another Act I would be only too happy to comply with that request in order to meet the requirements of the New South Wales Government. We have specifically amended the Act so that such transfers can take place. Let me assure the honourable member for Macarthur that if he can make successful representations to the Minister for Transport in New South Wales to have further funds spent in his region, I will be only too happy to assist him.

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