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Friday, 18 November 1927

Senator CARROLL (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - What is Queensland living on now?

Senator REID - Like other States, Queensland has had to develop its resources, and to-day it is living on the surplus of its produce from the land. In Victoria, Ballarat and Bendigo which were once mining centres are now agricultural centres. Gympie in Queensland was a wonderfully wealthy mining centre with a large population. To-day the gold-mining has ceased, but the population is large, and business is steadier than ever before, because the surrounding district has developed from an agricultural point of view. The Government has introduced this bill with the idea of helping to build up these primary industries which are always progressing and growing. Mining does not grow. As soon as a mine is opened its asset begins to decrease. Primary industries have the future in which to develop. I should like to see the mining industry come back again, but there is nothing in sight, not even in the Northern Territory, to give us any hope that it has any future in Australia. Senator Lynch knows better than any one else that on account of the cost of producing gold it is hard to get any one to advance money for the development of a mining proposition. I should support the honorable senator's amendment if it would do any good to the gold-mining industry, but I do not see that there is the slightest inducement for it to do so. Senator Lynch is no doubt desirous of doing something to please the people of Western Australia; but he must know that even they would not expect the Senate to empower the board of directors of the Commonwealth Savings Bank to advance money on goldmining properties.

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