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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2133

Mr DEAKIN (BALLAARAT, VICTORIA) (Minister for External Affairs) - As the honorable member is aware, the subject of the valuation of7 and the method of ' payment for, the transferred properties has been brought up in various forms. Speaking for the moment without a definite recollection of the present understanding, I may say that my own opinion is that no estimate nearly approaching the figures mentioned by the honorable member can be made fairly. Without entering into other particulars, I may point out that land for which the State paid nothing "should, in my personal opinion, still be treated as Crown land, because it does not pass out of the control of the people of Australia. Any valuation that would include the value of that land would be unreasonable and exorbitant. So far as I can form, any opinion, the sum that could fairly be claimed by the States for their properties would be very much smaller than that mentioned. My view is that after a fair valuation the whole matter should be arranged between the States and .the Commonwealth by way of set-off. by striking a balance as between the States, and dealing only with the differences that then remain. That would reduce the payment to an amount which could verv easily be met out of our existing revenue.


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