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Thursday, 28 March 1957


Mr Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) m asked the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, upon notice -

1.   What is the amount of expenditure from contributions from outside sources included in the expenditure in the year 1955-56 and the estimated expenditure in the year 1956-57 by the organization on building research?

2.   What are these outside sources?


Mr Casey (Minister for External Affairs) - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: -

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization has two divisions concerned with the building industry. The first is the Division of Building Research, while the second is the Division of Forest Products, which deals exclusively with timber. The Australian Fibrous Plaster Manufacturers have entered into an arrangement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to contribute £2,500 per annum towards the cost of investigations of the problems of plaster manufacture and use. The honorable member may be aware that fibrous plaster as a building material is, with the exception of New Zealand, not used in any other country of the world but Australia. This industry grew up in Australia and is a very successful one. The Australian paint industry also now has an arrangement with the Division of Building Research to subscribe a similar sum for the investigation of the problems of painting fibrous plaster. In both these cases there has been some delay in expending the money thus made available because of the extreme difficulty of obtaining the necessary staff to undertake these investigations. However the research staff has now been obtained and it is anticipated that the work will be commenced in the current year. The Division of Forest Products also receives a donation of £8,000 per annum in support of the work being done on the construction and properties of plywood. This grant is being made by the Plywood Board and commenced this current year 1956-57. This division also receives many general donations from the timber industry to support the very wide range of work that it is doing on the preparation and preservation of timber, much of which is used by the building industry. These donations amounted in 1955-56 to £3,400 and it is estimated that the sum involved in 1956-57 will be £2,500. I have on previous occasions remarked on the responsibility of indus try to contribute to research investigations by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, particularly where these have a very direct bearing on the prosperity and future development of industry itself. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization is, for example, carrying out researches which are of very direct interest to the heavy clay industries in this country and this is one instance where I would like to see the industry concerned making some contribution.







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