Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 16 April 1914

Senator MILLEN - It is quite correct that, following the recommendations of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice, a shaft is now being sunk on the shores of Jervoise Bay. It is not proposed to sink similar shafts elsewhere in the waters of Cockburn Sound, firstly, because Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice has not recommended that course; and, secondly, because he has intimated that the character of the countryabout Cockburn Sound is so similar that one shaft will be sufficient to enable him to determine whether or not it is possible to place a floating dock there, or anywhere else in the bay.

Senator PEARCE - Is the Minister of Defence aware that Mangles Bay is 12. miles from Jervoise Bay, and that bores have; revealed that there is a difference in the strata in the various sections? I would further ask the Minister if the report and recommendations: of Sir Maurice:

Fitzmaurice are dependent on the completion of that shaft at Jervoise Bay, and whether it is intended that no action shall be taken to commence work at Jervoise Bay until the shaft is completed, the data sent to England, and Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice's recommendation sent back to Australia?

Senator MILLEN - I am not aware of any trial bores which have been put down at various points in Jervoise Bay. I know that excavation work has taken place, but I am not conversant with the details of it. However, I do know that Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice has made a specific recommendation in regard to the sinking of this one test shaft, and, in view of that recommendation, I am not disposed to myself raise the question as to whether the information, which that authority declares to be sufficient, is so or not. I must accept the advice of the engineer. As to whether it is proposed to take no action until such time as the information now being collected is placed in Sir Maurice's hands, and his final report reaches here, I may say that so far as the major works are concerned no commencement will be made until that final and definite report is to hand ; but I am told that there is a good deal of work which can be proceeded with now in the light of information already in our possession, and I have given directions that steps shall be taken to proceed with work which can be safely undertaken, and which will bo necessary, no matter what may be the details of the recommendation submitted by Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice.

Senator PEARCE - At what portion of Cockburn Sound will that work be undertaken ?

Senator MILLEN - I am not in a position to say, because I am now asking the officers to report on the question. They have told me that there is work which can be proceeded with, and which will be necessary,, whatever may be the nature of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice's final recommendation. I have asked them, therefore, to make plans and arrangements, with a view to putting before me details of such work as they say may be safely carried out.

Senator PEARCE - I must again ask the Minister where that work is to be done. Are the officers to whom he has referred to decide that point, or has that work also to wait until Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice recommends where it is to be undertaken ?

Senator MILLEN - Until I receive the report of the officers I am not able to answer that question, but I am not prepared to sanction one single penny of expenditure there which is likely to be wasted if Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice's report shows it to be unnecessary.

Senator Pearce - That means that the Government cannot go on with any work ?

Senator MILLEN - That is the honorable senator's view, but my officers advise that there is a considerable amount of work which it will be necessary to carry out, no matter what Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice may finally recommend. So far as we can proceed with that work safely, having regard to the interests of the public, it will be proceeded with.

Suggest corrections