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Wednesday, 26 March 1941

Restoration of Weekly Shipping Ser vice to Cairns - Firearms Regulations - Petrol Rationing - Telephone Directories - National Credit - Munition Annexes - Government Securities and Treasury-bills.

Motion (by Senator McLeay) proposed -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

Senator COLLINGS(Queensland-

Leader of the Opposition) [10.19]. - On the 14th of March I received the following telegram from the Mayor of Cairns, an important centre in northern Queensland : -

Public meeting inclusive public bodies and strongly representative of commercial and industrial life this district held Cairns Wednes day 12th inst. to consider matters prejudicially affecting the city and district at the present time and for purpose of immediately representing to the Government the extremely serious situation which has developed as a result of the drift of population from Cairns and district to southern centres on account of munition manufacturers and other wartime activities there. Unemployment in this city and its immediate environs estimated to approximate one thousand men and unless measures are taken to rectify theposition by a tangible recognition immediately of the claims of this highly productive area the general set back to all industry would prove disastrous to many. Meeting entered emphatic protest against termination' of northern voyage at Townsville of weekly passenger and insulated vessels resulting in great inconvenience of passengers and deprivation of service to importers shippers comprising principally primary producers and further affecting waterside workers and general traders. Such shipping service offers the only refrigerated space available for our butter and meat industries which necessarily in their business incorporate interstate and intra-state activities with their export trade. Respectively suggested that restoration of weekly shipping service be made to Cairns in evidence of an appreciation of our difficulties and urgent significance to this community.

Collins, Mayor.

The city of Cairns has a. population of 15,200. The exports and imports in the year 1939 were : Exports 141,000 tons, imports 89,000 tons, a total of 230,000 tons. The gross cash receipts of Cairns Harbour Board for 1907 were £12,795, but in 1939 they were £67,091. The value of the production in 1939 of the area served by the port of Cairns was as follows : -


Those figures have been taken from the 34th annual report and statement of the Cairns Harbour Board. I suggest that this is a serious matter worthy of sympathetic consideration by the Government. I shall hand the telegram to the Leader of the Senate (Senator McLeay) and I trust that he will refer it and my representations to Cabinet.

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