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Tuesday, 27 October 1964
Page: 1320

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - Senator Willesee referred to the proposed expenditure of £490,000 on the acquisition of sites and buildings. I understand that it is the policy of the Postmaster-General's Department to bring together as many of its branches as possible but that very often expansion programmes and the demands on its service are such that it has to make short, term arrangements to house its staff. Therefore, they cannot do what they want to do in the consolidation of staff.

No information is available to me as to the precise position in the West. This amount of £490,000 shows that the estimated expenditure is based on revoted work amounting to £169,000, new sites and property required for the expansion of departmental facilities, £320,000, and the transfer to the Post Office of a number of Commonwealth owned properties for a nominal amount of £505, making a total of £490,000. In general, the programme provides for the acquisition of sites required for buildings on which construction is planned in the immediate years ahead. In accordance with established practice, provision has also been made for sites for improved properties in certain rapidly developing areas to be acquired ahead of the immediate needs. At this point of time that is all the information I have.

As to the matter raised by Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin regarding Division No. 820, sub-division 7, item 02 - Research projects - there has been an increase of £2.000. The Department's contribution towards the expenditure of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has been £15,000 annually since 1958-59. The higher contribution is to cover increased costs and to enable the Radio Research Board to carry out urgent radio development studies.

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