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Thursday, 6 October 1927


Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I understand that about two years ago the Public Accounts Committee recommended that something should bc done by the Commonwealth Government to help to develop the large deposits of shale at Newnes, in New South Wales. It is very necessary for us to have as much petrol as possible.


Senator Findley - We cannot hear the honorable senator.


Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Something should be done to improve the acoustic properties of the Chamber. Honorable members, whom one could hear quite plainly in the old Senate Chamber in Melbourne, hears now with the greatest difficulty. I shall be glad to know if the Minister for Defence has any report on the possibility of developing the shale oil deposits at Newnes.

I should also like to know whether the seaplane carrier now in course of construction -at Cockatoo Island will be delivered within the contract time.

Senator Sir WILLIAMGLASGOW (Queensland - Minister for Defence [4.3]. - I understand that the Public

Accounts Committee inquired generally into the possibilities of oil production in the Commonwealth, and in the course of its report suggested the advisability of research into methods of distilling oil from shale deposits. I think that it also recommended that these deposits should be reserved for defence purposes. Officers of the Defence Department are now investigating the oil supplies of the Commonwealth with a' view to making supplies of oil available in time of war, and in the course of their investigations they will undoubtedly take cognizance of the shale oil deposits of the Commonwealth and the report of the Public Accounts Committee upon them.

The last information I received concerning the seaplane carrier being con1structed at the Cockatoo Island dockyard was to the effect that it was hoped to launch it in November of next year. That is a little beyond the contract time.







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