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Tuesday, 8 March 1966

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for National Development. Is it a fact that, largely with the assistance of moneys provided by the

Commonwealth Government, there have been considerable discoveries of water in New South Wales at shallow depths? I refer to discoveries of fresh water in the western rivers flowing into the Darling River. Is it a fact that with existing plant and skills, if finance were available, within three weeks we could mount a very considerable campaign of increased drilling for water in these areas? Would not that give current relief from the drought to some extent, and would it not also provide some insurance against future drought? If those are facts, will the Minister have urgent consultations with the New South Wales Government on the inauguration of a crash programme to carry out in a concerted way a policy along the lines that I have suggested?

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