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Thursday, 24 March 1927

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - This bill should be of vital interest t& all honorable senators in view of the unanimous desire for the success of. efforts that are being made to discover oil in the Commonwealth and its Mandated Territory. 1 listened attentively to the Minister's second-reading speech. I should like some information as to the reason for discontinuing boring operations at the sites mentioned by him. Can he say if drilling bore out the anticipations of the geologists? If not, we can only come to the conclusion that the technical advisers have been at fault. No one is more anxious than I am that Australia should get a satisfactory return for the heavy expenditure incurred to date; but, with Senator Thompson, I believe that there is little chance of discovering flow oil in Australia. I should be loth to suggest the abandonment of the whole scheme; but I fear that wo shall have to call a halt if no return for heavy expenditure is secured soon. I trust, however, that the granting of additional financial assistance will lead to good results, and I hcp that, when next Ave are dealing with this subject, we shall have a definite statement from the Minister to show if the geological surveys of the various sites are borne out by boring operations.

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