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Friday, 26 June 1914

Senator MILLEN (New South WalesMinister of Defence) . - That expenditure is allocated to the Flinders Base, Cockburn Sound, and Port Stephens.

Senator Pearce - What is the amount to be spent on each?

Senator MILLEN - It has not been allotted. My honorable friend will recollect that the method adopted in the preparation of Naval estimates provides merely for the appropriation of a lump sum, leaving the Department to apportion it as the progress of work demands. I may tell Senator Pearce that, so far as Westernport is concerned, the expenditure relates to works which are now in hand, namely, the buildings connected with the depot and preliminary work in regard to dredging. I do not anticipate that much will be done this quarter, but preliminary steps will have to be taken in regard to building the wharf. However, the principal work that will be taken in hand during the next three months will be the land buildings connected with the training and other establishments. At Port Stephens the money to be expended will be spent in pursuing the investigations which were instituted during the term of office of my predecessor. At Cockburn Sound, the work to be undertaken during the period that is covered by this Bill will consist of the completion of surveys, the making of further tests directed by Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice, and such other preliminary works as the officers can undertake, with the knowledge that they will be useful, irrespective of the nature of Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice's final report.

Senator Pearce - Will there be any payments made on behalf of the dredgers ?

Senator MILLEN - I think that the dredgers have been provided for already.

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