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Tuesday, 2 May 1961

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) .- The Opposition adheres to its principle that public utilities ought essentially to be publicly owned and that distinct anomalies exist if a few remaining utilities are not publicly owned. Privately owned utilities are a declining race. I know in my own State of Victoria what were normally private undertakings in the gas and electricity fields have become public undertakings, but there are still a few residual examples in some of the other States. The North Shore Gas Company Limited, in Sydney, which corresponds largely with the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria, is still privately owned, and from the point of view of the people of Sydney they ought not to be placed in a less favorable position than are the people of Melbourne merely because one organization is styled a public authority statutorily and the other, whilst a public utility, in some respects is still privately owned. Therefore, at this stage we would offer no objection to the amendment.

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