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Friday, 9 July 1920


Mr JACKSON (Bass) .- As a home-grown Tasmanian, I claim to know something about the industrial conditions which exist in the island State, so far as they are affected by the coal shortage. Tasmania is not blessed with any gas coal which can be used for industrial or smelting purposes. But if the ' other States of the Commonwealth bad done what Tasmania has done, so far' as their water supplies are concerned, there would be no coal trouble to-day. In Tasmania we have one of the greatest hydro-electric schemes to be found in the world. True, it is only in the process of making, though it is working at the present time. That scheme has helped Tasmania to carry on ifc3 industrial operations during the past few years, notwithstanding the troubles consequent upon a shortage of coal and shipping in Australia.


Mr Nicholls - What has that to do with industrial unrest?


Mr JACKSON - I am pointing out how we have had to help ourselves, and how pleased the people of Tasmania will be if the tribunal suggested by the Prime Minister be established. But, in addition to tho question of maintaining the output of coal, Tasmanians are directly interested in the question of shipping, and if the Prime Minister can provide us with increased shipping, he will be doing us a very great service indeed. I know that recently several large industries hare decided to -establish new factories in Tasmania. That mean3 that that State will be a bigger customer for coal than it has eyer been previously. Its people, therefore, are vitally interested in the establishment of the proposed industrial tribunal, and, as I have before stated, they are also intensely interested in the question of shipping. The statement made by the honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Watkins) regarding the output of coal for foreign parts is a serious one if it means that the industries of Australia are going to be faced with a shortage of coal. I hope that this particular aspect of the situation will not be lost sight of. I have no desire to occupy time unduly, because I understand that the honorable member for Illawarra (Mr. Hector Lamond) wishes to reply, but honorable members opposite must surely recognise that the proposals which have been outlined by the Prime Minister will do something to ease the present situation. If they are not of that opinion, why do they not submit concrete proposals of their own? I sincerely trust that effect will be given to the proposals outlined by the Prime Minister, because I believe they will be to the advantage of the coal industry of Australia.







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