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Thursday, 5 August 1926

Senator COX (New South Wales) . - I listened with a great deal of interest to the remarks of Senator Grant, concerning Australia's requirements and the possible sources of supplies of liquid fuel. In the Wolgan Valley, and at Joadja, there are some of the richest shale deposits in the world, and it is the duty of the Government to assist those who, in endeavouring to develop the shale oil industry, have spent large sums of money. Considerable expenditure has been incurred in treating the deposits in the Wolgan Valley, and new machinery is being installed with which it will be possible to extract more oil than has previously been practicable. Although the development of this industry has been seriously retarded owing to industrial troubles, and operations have for some time been discontinued, I have been informed that a new method has been discovered by which the oil can be profitably extracted. I was surprised to hear Senator Grant suggest that a larger quantity of oil should be obtained from Persia; in time of danger that source of supply might be interfered with. .

Senator Foll - He also suggested that the Government should purchase an oil well in Mexico.

Senator COX - Yes, in a country where they have a revolution almost every day in the week. It has been stated that if an effective method of extraction were discovered, we could obtain, from our own deposits, sufficient liquid fuel to meet our requirements for 200 years. As private enterprise has expended considerable sums of money in the purchase of modern plant, Senator Grant should persuade some of his supporters to refrain from causing industrial trouble and thus give the industry an opportunity to prosper. If that were done, we mightnot then have to depend on outside sources for the supply of an essential commodity.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 (Extension of period during which bounty is payable).

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