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Tuesday, 30 April 1957

Mr Leslie e asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

What is the allocation in each State of expenditure, including that for defence services, from the appropriation for additions, new works, &c., for the current financial year?

Sir Arthur Fadden - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

Parliamentary appropriations are not restricted, generally, to expenditure in any particular State. The Commonwealth's expenditure is recorded in respect of each vote from details of individual payments which are brought to account through the Sub-Treasury in each State and in each Commonwealth territory. An attempt to allocate the expenditure between States would be a major undertaking and, moreover, the analysis would be of very doubtful value. Expenditure brought to account by a particular Sub-Treasury may include, for example, payments to interstate and overseas suppliers. Furthermore, expenditure in one State is often for equipment and supplies for projects in another State. In short, the payments recorded in any Sub-Treasury do not purport to indicate the expenditure which may be attributable to Commonwealth activities or services in that State or territory. 1 ask, therefore, that the honorable member reconsider his request for an allocation of the expenditure. Alternatively arrangements will be made for him to inspect the returns to 31st March, 1957, from the Sub-Treasuries, of expenditure brought to account through their offices.

Aboriginal Food Supplies.

Mr Bryant t asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, uponnotice: -

1.   Has he noted the suggestion in the report of the select committee appointed by the Western Australian Parliament to inquire into native welfare that air dropping of dingo baits has reduced the natural foods available to the aboriginals and possibly poisoned the people themselves?

2.   Will he inquire into this matter and, if the procedure does have this result, have it stopped?

3.   Is any air personnel employed in the Warburton Ranges area?

4.   If so, what instructions are given them, and what supervision is enforced to prevent any interference with the way of life of the aboriginal inhabitants?

5.   What steps are taken to ensure that any activities of his department which reduce the ability of the inhabitants to live in the area are compensated by welfare measures?

Mr Townley - The Minister for Civil Aviation has furnished the following replies: -

1.   Yes.

2.   I have made inquiries and have ascertained that the dropping of dingo baits from aircraft in Western Australia and South Australia is carried out under the authority of the State governments which employ aircraft operators duly licensed for aerial work operations. Since these aircraft operations are intra-state my department, by virtue of the State Air Navigation Acts, is only in a position to stop these operations if they are not conducted in accordance with prescribed safety standards. In any event, I am informed that in the case of Western Australia these operations are not conducted within 200 miles of the Warburton Ranges. The South Australian operations have been conducted in the Oodnadatta, Mount Eba, Mabel Creek, Mulga thing and Wilgena area, which is in close proximity to the Warburton Ranges. However, I am advised that every precaution is taken by the South Australian Government to avoid any possibility of harmful effects to the native population. I am also advised that there is no evidence that any aboriginal has been poisoned by the baits and, furthermore, that the natural diet of the natives is not affected, as kangaroos, wallabies and other native game are not carnivorous.

3.   No.

4.   See answer to question 3.

5.   There are no activities of this nature.

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