Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
New series of resources maps of Australia

Download PDFDownload PDF

EMBARGO: do not broadcast or publish before Wednesday, 17th July, 1963.



Statement by the Minister for National Development, Senator the Hon. Sir William Spooner, K.C'.M.G. , M.M.

With the publication today of a map-sheet and booklet

commentary entitled "Electricity", my Department has begun a

second edition, to be called the second series, of its Atlas of

Australian Resources.

The first series of this Atlas, consisting of thirty

large, multicoloured map-sheets and commentaries, was begun in

1951 and completed in 1 960. Each sheet depicts for the v/hole

continent a major facet of Australia's physical or human resources.

The commentaries, written by experts, give a summary of the topics

including much additional information not shown on the map-sheets.

About 90,000 copies of these maps are already in use in Australia

and overseas.

The maps of the second series will progressively replace

those of the first series at the rate of three a year. Most of

the new maps will be revisions, but a few will deal with new or

modified topics. For example, "Electricity" replaces "Power and

Fuel" (1955); a separate map dealing with fuels will be issued later.

The "Electricity " map-sheet uses a new layout to show

electricity generation, transmission and consumption throughout

Australia. For all generating stations contributing to public

supply, information is given on such aspects as the generating

capacity, the type of prime mover used, and the operating authority.

The· amounts of energy generated at the major centres·can be readily

compared and the extent of transmission systems appreciated.

The commentary was written in my Department but draws

on material specially contributed by the major electricity author­

ities. It describes generation and transmission facilities nation­

ally and State by State, and indicates the great changes that have

tokcsn pl-o.ce- -in. -the last decade. .

For example, over", the ten years to June 1961 the ~

population of Australia increased by 25$ but in the same period ,

the consumption of electricity per capita changed from 895

kilowatt hours to 1818 kilowatt-hours, an increase of 103 per cent.

Power demand is doubling every 8 to 9 years. This ,

means that at the present time about 400,000 kilowatts of new

generating plant - which is more than the total installed capacity

of Western Australia - needs to be brought into service each year.

Another way of visualizing what this means is by comparison with

the large 875,000 kilowatt Vales Point power station, the first unit

of which recently commenced operation in New South Wales. By 1970

the equivalent'of one such station will have to be constructed every

year to satisfy Australia's power needs or. one such station will be

required every two years in New South Wales alone.

In 1960/61 expenditure on electricity development amounted

to £111 million or one-fifth of all expenditure on public works in /

that year. As pointed out in the Atlas commentary, it is inter­

esting to note the effect technological improvements have had on

costs. In the largest of our electrical systems (New South Wales)

the average selling price of electricity increased by only 9$ over

the period 1951/52 to 1960/61 compared.with basic wage increases

of 25$ over the same period. There are other reasons besides

technological progress and the construction of the Snowy Mountains

Scheme for these relatively stable costs but technology has played .

a significant part and there is every reason to expect that improve­

ments in operating efficiencies and in the lowering of capital costs

per installed kilowatt will continue.

Full sets and single maps of the Atlas of Australian

Resources may be purchased from the Department of National Development

in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, and from leading booksellers.

Information on special rates on orders from educational bodies may

be obtained from the Department.

17th July 1963