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Thursday, 27 November 1941

Senator FRASER (Western Australia) (Minister for External Territories) . - I move-

That the bill be now read a second time.

The following is a summary of the proposed appropriation for additions, new works, buildings, &c. : -


Details will be found on pages 308-318 of the printed Estimates.

The civil aviation works estimate of £547,900 is largely occasioned by defence requirements. In addition to the amount of £1,566,000 to be appropriated from revenue for postal works, a further amount of £1,500,000 will be provided from loan fund. This will be the subject of a loan bill. The total expenditure on postal works in 1940-41. was £3,240,000.

The amount of £1,135,000 required for territories of the Commonwealth is attributable to large developmental programmes rendered necessary by the increasing populations of both the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. In Canberra, substantial expenditure is necessary in the provision of cottages, with the attendant engineering services. An amount of £96,000 has been included towards the cost of the Canberra Hospital, and £40,000 for the new abattoir. At Darwin also considerable expenditure is required for the extension of the jetty, completion of the hospital and other essential works.

The amount of the appropriation of £3,831,000 does not include works constructed out of the federal aid roads grant to the States, which this year is estimated to amount to £1,600,000. It also excludes works for defence and war services, and works made possible by the Commonwealth grant of £100,000 a year in aid of interest and sinking fund on public works carried out by local governing authorities. Although certain works in progress at the 30th June last have been carried on by credits from Treasurer's Advance, this bill authorizes the commencement of a number of new works which it is highly desirable should be put in hand at the earliest possible moment. I trust, therefore, that honorable senators will agree to its speedy passage.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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