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Tuesday, 31 July 1906

Mr KENNEDY (Moira) .- It is not my intention to " stonewall " this measure, but I think that I am justified in expressing my opinions. Having looked up all the available information on the question, and having had some experience in regard to the cost of contemplated works in other directions, I know that, although Parliament may vote only £20.000, the work, even if it costs £.100,000, must be carried to a completion. It is strange that no engineer has stated that £20,000 will be sufficient.

Mr Groom - Mr. Kernot has said so.

Mr KENNEDY - What has been said is, in effect, that for the money proposed there may be a flying survey.

Sir John Forrest - We shall get a lot for £20,000, which is £20 a mile.

Mr KENNEDY - No doubt we shall get a lot, but we should get a lot more for £100,000.

Sir John Forrest - We do not require £100,000.

Mr Fowler - The honorable member for Moira can move to increase the amount.

Mr KENNEDY - I shall not H0 so, because I know it would be absolutely useless. What I say is that one of the most experienced men we have ir. Victoria, in regard to this particular class of work, has stated, after careful investigation, that £90,000 would be a reasonable sum to expend in obtaining the information necessary in regard to this particular route.

Mr Fowler - That was the way money used to be spent in the good old days in Victoria, but we do not do that over our way.

Mr KENNEDY - I know that work can be done much more cheaply today than it could twenty years ago, either in the way of survey or in carrying out public works such as the construction of a railway. I desire to direct attention to the fact that what is known as a flying survey is not a reliable guide to-day as to the cost of the construction of a railway. I object to the Government proposing to spend £20,000 when it is apparent to any man of experience, or of a practical turn of mind, that we cannot get for that amount the information necessary to guide us. Any reputable engineer would, I think, tell us that £20,000 is not sufficient, and that, before we. get the information, the cost will be at least £80,000. So far as T am concerned, I have no further remarks to make. Mv whole opposition to the Bill is based on the ground that the survey should be made by the States concerned. As to the other proposal, I shall deal with it after the survey has been made. From reliable information, I feel confident that if this survey is undertaken, this or some other Government will have to ask for an increased amount.

Clause agreed to._

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Ordered -

That the Standing Orders be suspended so as to allow the third reading of the Bill to be moved this day.

Bill read a third time.

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