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Thursday, 13 May 1965

Senator HENTY - I am aware that the Premier of Tasmania has stated that his Government is prepared to subsidise losses up to a maximum of £40,000, I think, sustained in the operations of another ferry between the mainland and Tasmania, irrespective of whether it is publicly or privately owned. I am sure that if this is a commercial proposition the offer of the subsidy will have some attraction to private industry to enter this field and so provide the type of competition between private and public ownership that we have in the airline industry. I think it would be very good to have that type of competition in the ferry service across Bass Strait. I am not aware of the effect the subsidy may have on the Grants Commission, but I have a shrewd idea that the subsidy might not have been offered if the Government of Tasmania did not expect to recoup through the Grants Commission amounts paid in subsidy. However, I do not want to be uncharitable to the Premier of Tasmania, and as I am not aware of the full details surrounding this matter I will seek the information from the Treasurer.

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