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Monday, 14 October 1991
Page: 1811

Mr HAWKER —-Mr Acting Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr HAWKER —-I do, Mr Acting Speaker.

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —-The honourable member may proceed.

Mr HAWKER —-In yesterday's Sunday Telegraph there was an article headed `Road-building costs scandal' in which it stated very briefly, in just three paragraphs:

Road building and maintenance costs could be cut by several hundred million dollars each year by introducing new building techniques and contracting out work, the federal Opposition and transport spokesman David Hawker has claimed.

Twice as many local roads could be built for the same money if a cheaper slurry seal were used instead of the present hot mix.

The very brief article concluded:

Mr Hawker labelled the present annual $5 billion outlay on roadway construction a scandal.

That is not exactly what I stated. In fact, in a 5-page article which I have released I made a number of observations about the $5 billion road building and maintenance program in Australia. In the conclusion to that article I said:

Right before our eyes, despite the grumblings of motorists, hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted each year--

not the $5 billion. I continued:

Even more disturbing is that no-one knows just how much. All that has to change. The time has come to blow the lid off this cosy feather-bedded $5 billion per year grossly inefficient industry.

That is somewhat different from the three-paragraph summary in the paper.