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Thursday, 28 March 1946

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (Barker) . - I am somewhat intrigued by information that I have received fromSouth Australia in regard to the petrol position in that State. It appears that some action has been taken by the Garage' Owners Association to approach the Minister for Supply and Shipping (Senator Ashley), who is not in this chamber or this city; therefore, I would appreciate it very much if, before the adjournment to-morrow afternoon, the Minister representing that honorable gentleman in this chamber can assure me as to whether there are any grounds for the belief that is held at Mount Gambier and other places that there is likely to be a shortage of petrol, or, alternatively, whether the Liquid Fuel Control Board in South Australia is likely to embark shortly on a new petrol policy, the possibility of which is causing a certain degree of confusion, and, at the very least} concern, in country districts. The matter could be cleared up by the Government in 24 hours.

Mr Chifley - May the Minister concerned have the information now?

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON - Tes. I have no details in writing, but I can convey the information to him verbally.

For some time a request has been made by means of correspondence and interviews for certain action to be taken at Buck's Bay, in my electorate, in the interests of fishermen. This bay has a beautiful natural breakwater, and the local fishermen are engaged in the sharkfishing industry, which has developed to a considerable degree on the South Australian coast. They need improved harbour facilities for their craft, and these could be provided by blasting a hole in the reef at Buck's Bay. The Minister concerned knows that this matter is of interest to a large number of ex-service- ' men, but his last communication to me was that they had better get in touch with the Navy or Army authorities, with a view to obtaining explosives with which to do the job themselves. Although men may have served in the defence forces, they are not necessarily qualified to use a large quantity of explosives in order to blast a hole in a reef. The Government should take up the matter as a post-war work. It could not safely be left to local residents. The government departments concerned could complete the job at an early date. I have letters from Melbourne firms which are prepared to purchase certain products of the sharkfishing industry. The matter should toe regarded more as one of Government policy than a question whether one department or another has explosives to spare.

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