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Thursday, 27 April 1961


Mr E JAMES HARRISON (BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct to the Prime Minister a question bearing upon the statement made this morning by the Treasurer concerning the standardization of railway gauges, and a statement made by the Prime Minister before he left to attend the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference. Can the Prime Minister say whether any final determination has yet been reached, on the Commonwealth Government level, on the question of financing the standardization to 4 ft. 8i ins. of the railway gauge between Kalgoorlie and Kwinana? Is the Prime Minister aware of the tremendous national saving that will accrue in the proposed train loading which will exceed 3.000 tons on the new railway system? Is he aware of the urgent necessity for the early construction of this line for the purpose of tapping effectively the export wealth of Western Australia? In view of what has been said this morning, can the Prime Minister say whether the construction of the Western Australian railway will be financed on the same basis as that on which the standardization of the Sydney to Melbourne line is being financed or whether Western Australia will be treated similarly to the manner in which Queensland is being treated with respect to its railway project?







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