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Wednesday, 23 November 1960

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) n asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice -

1.   Are native villagers responsible for repair and maintenance work on the Minj-Goroka road in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea free to refuse to perform this work?

2.   What wages do they receive?

3.   Did these natives, in the presence of the Leader of the Opposition, the honorable member for Hindmarsh and Senator Dittmer, make a request to their District Commissioner on about 29th July, 1960, for the provision of a motor truck for carting metal from the river bed to the point of requirement?

4.   Do they now carry this material by hand?

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

1.   Yes, except for obligation as the occupier of land adjoining a trunk road to clear drains and cut grass and secondary growth on the length of the road adjoining his land, under section 9 of the Roads Maintenance Ordinance.

2.   All work is done as contract work for a total cash payment by arrangement with native officials.

3.   Neither the District Commissioner, Western Highlands, nor the District Commissioner, Eastern Highlands, recalls such a request, but a patrol officer states that on the morning of 29th July, 1960, at the Minj airstrip, after the District

Commissioner, Western Highlands, left the party, a native person spoke to the honorable member for Hindmarsh about a truck.

4.   Road-making material must be carried by hand from the river bed to the point of loading for a motor vehicle. This varies mainly from 10 to SO yards and the estimated longest haul, which is exceptional, is about SOO yards.

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