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Friday, 25 June 1915

Second Reading. a Senator RUSSELL (Victoria - Assistant Minister) [3.55]. - I move -

That this Bill be now read a second time.

Honorable senators are well aware of the desire, and of the desirability too, of taking over the lighthouses from the States, which previously managed and controlled them. After the necessary preliminary arrangement had been made as far back as last July, the Prime Minister wrote to various Premiers in an endeavour to come to a mutual agreement as to the terms and conditions on which the Commonwealth would take over the lighthouses; but, unfortunately, up to the present time, only New South Wales and Victoria have signed the agreement, consenting to the transfer on conditions similar to those under which the general properties of the States were transferred to the Commonwealth, either at its establishment, or at the transfer of the Departments - namely, that it should be treated as part of the transferred debts, with the Commonwealth liable to pay 3-J per cent, interest in perpetuity on the total amount. A Board, representative of each individual State and the Commonwealth, was to fix up the details as to the values of the different lighthouses, lights, beacons, and buoys to be transferred. Unfortunately one or two of the States have not come into line in that regard.







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