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Thursday, 16 April 1914

Senator O'LOGHLIN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -

Is it a fact that during recess the construction of a section of the East-West Railway was let to a contractor without public competition?

Senator McCOLL - The answer is -

The Engineer-in-Chief for Commonwealth railways represented that it was necessary that a suction of the earthworks on the railway line, where it crossed the tablelands, should be done immediately; that the contractor for an adjacent State railway was just finishing, and was ready with men and plant to take on the work at slightly lower rates than his contract with the State for similar work in similar country. He recommended that in view of the urgency of the matter and the report of the Supervising Engineer, that he could not do the work in the time, and the prices were justified, the opportunity of having the work clone immediately be seized, and a contract let to the State contractor at below State rates, which was done.

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