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Friday, 26 July 1912


Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - I should like to direct the attention of the Minister to what in my State is felt to be a very serious handicap on shipping. We have something like eighty-six ports along our coast-line, but only a few of these have been proclaimed as ports of entry. In our wheat season, ships come from South America and elsewhere in ballast to these ports for the purpose of loading wheat. Some little time ago a ship went into Port Victoria to load wheat. But immediately she got there, the master was told that it was not a port of entry, and he had to up-anchor, set sails, and make for Port Pirie, a distance of something like 150 miles, in order to get into a port of entry, and he then had to go back to Port Victoria to get his cargo. That is a very serious handicap on our shipping, and the Government should take action to increase the number of the ports of entry. I know that the objection is that is would involve considerable expense to maintain quarantine officers at each small port, but in the case fo which I refer the master and agents of the ship were prepared to pay any expense which might be involved in sending a quarantine officer to Port Victoria to do what was necessary. I suggest that it would be well to provide by regulation that any port at which a ship may be loaded shall be considered a port of entry even if the expense of providing for a visit to the port of a quarantine officer should be put upon the ship. I direct the attention of the Minister to this difficulty, and I hope he will bring it under the notice of the Department, and see whether some provision cannot be made to meet it.







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