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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr Ward d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   What was the total amount contributed by the Commonwealth to the running of the Olympic Games in Melbourne last year?

2.   By what amount does this figure exceed the sum guaranteed by the Commonwealth Government?

3.   What inquiry was made by the Government to satisfy itself that the expenditure incurred in conducting the Olympic Games in excess of that originally estimated was justified and unavoidable?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The amounts provided in the annual Estimates and appropriated by Parliament for the Olympic Games were for capital expenditure on the construction of facilities and not for operating expenses. To date the Commonwealth has advanced ?1,100,000 for construction.

2.   The Commonwealth Government did not give any guarantee in relation to operating expenses. The Government of Victoria was empowered by Slate legislation to guarantee the Olympic Organizing Committee's bank overdraft up to a limit of ?200,000. The Commonwealth agreed to share equally with the State any loss that might be met under the Slate Government's guarantee.

3.   The Commonwealth Government is satisfied that the Olympic Games were of great value to Australia and it has agreed to bear half of the ascertained loss which the State Government hat undertakes tomeet. As it will take some time to selldisposable assetsand otherwise wind up theaffairsofthe organizing committee, the amount to be contributed by the Commonwealth cannot yet be stated. The Commonwealth with the Victorian Government is represented on a committee formed for the purpose of supervising the winding up operations of the Games.

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