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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr GULLETT (HENTY, VICTORIA) - I wish to ask the Minister for Commerce and Agriculture a question with relation to the Commonwealth wool store now in course of erection at Portland. An acute housing shortage exists in that town. Is it a fact that the only building contractor in the town is employed with all his staff in the erection of the wool store? Does the Minister consider that the erection of the store should be continued, particularly in view of the unanimous opinion in the wool trade that the provision of this and other wool stores is not only wasteful but also harmful to the trade?

Mr SCULLY - I am not aware how far construction of the wool store at Portland has proceeded. However, I say definitely that it was the unanimous wish of all interested parties, including the municipal authority and growers in the district, that the store should be erected at the earliest possible date. I also know that vested interests are opposed to the erection of the store as they are opposed to the Government's policy of decentralization of industry. However, the Government will carry out that policy and disperse industries as much as possible throughout the Commonwealth. The construction of the wool store at Portland will be proceeded with as expeditiously as possible.

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