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Wednesday, 12 September 1973
Page: 834


Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to ask a question of the Minister for Urban and Regional Development. Is it true that within the next few days the Government will announce a major Commonwealth redevelopment and construction program at Parramatta? Is this announcement, on the eve of the Parramatta by-election, designed to buy back support from the people of west Sydney after the gross blunder of the Government's decision to put an airport at Galston? In view of soaring inflation which is now gripping the economy, is not such a decision to spend more public funds on vote catching schemes sheer irresponsibility?


Mr UREN (REID, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Urban and Regional Development) - A decision was made by Cabinet approximately 2 months ago to acquire a site at Parramatta for an Australian Government centre. This will replace the Commonwealth centre that was to have been located at Woolloomooloo and, of course, it is in conformity with the policy of the Australian Labor Party, set out by our Leader before the last elections, that we would locate a major Australian Government centre at Parramatta. We took this decision in the early part of this Parliament. We had an investigation made and acquired that site. The decision is in line with our philosophy. For too long Australian governments have concentrated on the overcentralisation of Sydney's central business district. They permitted insurance companies and foreign investors to invest in the central business district. I instance the redevelopment of Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, the Rocks area and North Sydney. This type of overcentralisation would create only greater prob lems in the sprawl of Sydney and therefore we decided as a matter of policy in the field or urban affairs to establish a rational transport system. We thought that by establishing a rational transport system we could use areas such as Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown as a catalyst to achieve a balanced development of the Sydney area.


Mr Snedden - Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Would the honourable gentleman make a statement after question time?


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I have appealed to those asking questions and to Ministers answering them to be as brief as possible.


Mr UREN - I respect your request, Mr Speaker, and I will make my reply as brief as possible. Consequently, in line with our policy of subsidising the States on a S2 for SI basis to assist them with their urban public transport systems, we are using Parramatta as a catalyst to try to create a new growth centre not only from the point of view of placing Australian public servants there and attracting commercial investment there but also from the point of view of fostering Parramatta as a cultural centre.







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