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Friday, 1 December 1911


Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - I shall not enter minutely into the merits of Senator Walker's amendment, which asserts the principle that the Commonwealth should acquire any value that may be created by the construction of this railway with Commonwealth money. I entirely agree with him. As this railway must benefit two States, and as the people of Australia are going to advance the money to build the line, those two States should give some security or guarantee for the repayment of some portion of the money.. Surely that principle is sound. I agree with much of what Senator Stewart has said. My opposition to this line was not so much directed against the project itself, as against the unsatisfactory condition under which the railway is proposed to be built. There is not sufficient genuineness in the demands of South Australia and Western Australia unless those two States readily concede something of the principle that when we advance them between ,£4,000,000 and £6,000,000 to build a railway, the people of Australia who find the money shall have some sort of guarantee that in future years the Commonwealth will be recouped a portion of the expenditure incurred. I am not going to say that there are not some difficulties in the way of applying the principle of Senator Walker's amendment in connexion with future legislation, but at present I am inclined to support it.







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