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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr LAZZARINI (Werriwa) (Minister for Works and Housing) . - by leave -I recently promised the honorable member for Robertson (Mr. Williams) that I would make inquiries whether quantities of galvanized iron, wire netting and barbed wire could be made available to farmers, and also in regard to the allegation that there were enormous quantities of these materials lying in Queensland awaiting distribution. As honorable members are aware, supplies of these items are in acute short supply, and it has been necessary for my department to distribute the production of these items to all States on an equitable basis. From inquiries made of the Commonwealth Disposals Commission, it is understood that 24,000 feet of wire netting in Brisbane has just been declared surplus to requirements and will shortly be disposed of. In addition, a further quantity of 126,000 feet at Townsville has also recently been declared surplus and will shortly be allocated. It is the responsibility of the Commonwealth Disposals Commission to furnish my department with information concerning any large quantities of housing and fencing materials that are available for disposal.

When disposal is subsequently made within a State my department makes any necessary adjustments of' that State's quota. At the present time, my department has no advice other than I have stated from the commission that there are any large quantities of galvanized iron, wire netting 'and barbed wire that have been declared surplus to requirements and thus available fpr disposal. If specific information as to the locality where the material is alleged to be stored is furnished, the matter will be investigated further with the Disposals Commission and the Army and Air Force authorities.

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