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Thursday, 9 December 1965

Mr Whitlam m asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

On what dates, by what means and with what results has the Government consulted with any of the State Governments concerning the port and wharf facilities on which Mr. Henry Basten reported on 4th January 1952?

Sir Robert Menzies - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows -

Following receipt of Mr. Basten's report, I wrote, in April 1952, to all States, except South Australia, regarding those recommendations which appeared to involve the respective State authorities. (The South Australian Government has appointed Mr. W. P. Bishop to conduct a separate inquiry into the Port of Adelaide.) The States indicated that they had already taken, or were in the course of planning, action in line with Mr. Basten's recommendations.

Since that time, further consultation with the States about port facilities and their efficient use has taken place at Premiers' Conferences and also at meetings of the Commonwealth-State Committee on Shipping. Considerable sums of Commonwealth moneys have also been made available to the States for port development.

The important fact is that the Commonwealth has never been idle in any aspect of the whole matter of port and wharf facilities. As is well known, Mr. A. e. Woodward, Q.C., is currently examining a very wide range of matters affecting the efficiency of the Stevedoring Industry.

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