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Thursday, 12 November 1914
Page: 516

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - There are one or two little matters, to which I wish to direct attention. The Minister who represents the PostmasterGeneral here may not be aware that onsome of the railways in South Australia, particularly on the Northern line and the. line leading to Broken Hill, a mail van is run, and a sorter accompanies the van to facilitate the delivery of letters at the other end. I believe that some time ago several coaches were built for the Railway Department with the express object of running a similar van on the SouthEastern line, but up to the present time no such facilities have been granted. From the South-Eastern railway there branch two or three lines along which there are several post-office stations. I may mention here that the train does not reach Mount Gambier until 8 o'clock at night. The residents have to wait a considerable time before their letters are sorted, and then no delivery takes place until 9 o'clock, or perhaps later. That means that the employes are detained at work considerably longer than they should be. If a sorting officer were allowed to travel in a coach along the line, as on the Northern railway, the delivery of the mails would be greatly facilitated, and, of course, there would be less trouble at the other end. The same remarks apply to the Pinaroo and Paringa lines. I refer to the matter now because some time ago there was a designto. provide for the sorting of letters in the train. Tt would not involve any extra expenditure. It would simply mean a rearrangement of postal facilities. Another matter I wish to call attention to is the construction of the East to West railway. Considerable work ds proceeding, but I see no item for the line in this Bill. We should be able to judge from the schedule of the Bill how the works along this railway are progressing, and what expenditure has taken place, and if the expenditure is excessive or otherwise. It is a considerable time since the Senate w_as furnished with any information in this regard. The same remarks will apply to other construction works which are in progress. I recognise that the Government have only just succeeded to office, and, therefore, cannot he expected to be fully seized of all these matters. The motion before the Senate gives an opportunity to those who are interested to ask for information, not simply to satisfy our own curiosity, but to let the public know how the funds of the nation are being spent, and how the construction works are progressing.

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