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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator SCOTT (Western Australia) . - Without wishing to delay the Senate for more than a minute or two, I want to refer to one aspect of the Bill which, I believe, is probably its most important aspect - the humanitarian side of the subsidy which will keep in existence the town of Kalgoorlie with its population of some 20,000 people. lt is unfortunate that the price of gold has been fixed since 1934 at 35 dollars ari) ounce. A section of the Bretton Woods Agreement stipulates that no country which joins the International Monetary Fund shall pay moneys to produce additional quantities of gold, but it provides also that ny member country may spend moneys to keep present goldmines in existence. The Government has done exactly this. If it were not for this subsidy, the city of Kalgoorlie would become a ghost town in a very short period. This measure, which will provide assistance to the goldmining industry for a further five years, will guarantee the future for at least this period not only of Kalgoorlie but also of other towns concerned in goldmining. I have no doubt that whatever government is in power five years from now will give the same sympathetic treatment to the industry as this Government has given. I have much pleasure in supporting the Bill.

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