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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister of Home Affairs) . - The honorable member has made but a case deserving serious and immediate consideration. The probable permanency of a settlement must always be inquired into before the erection of a post-office is sanctioned ; but Chillagoe appears to be a permanent town. There are other mines in the neighbourhood besides the Chillagoe mine, whose postal business is transacted at this office, and from the description given, the quarters of the postmaster and his family, remembering the climate of the place, should certainly be improved. I shall at once put myself in communication with the Postal Department in connexion with the matter.

Mr. HENRYWILLIS (Robertson)

T?-.i7]- - I should like some information from the Minister of Home Affairs in regard to the proposed expenditure of £1 .i to, together with a re-vote of ^£2,499, making; in all £31609, upon the Cairns post-office. Was the amount voted last vear not sufficient to carry out the work?

Mr. GROOM(Darling Downs - Minister of Home Affairs) [7. ^81. - The appropriation last vear was £2,500, but. when the money was voted, the plans and specifica tions were not ready for the erection of the building. The Inspector-General visited the town this year in company with an officer of the Queensland Government, since when plans have been prepared, and a tender accepted. Cairns is a township requiring a permanent post-office of the character provided, and the expenditure asked for is absolutely justifiable.

Mr Bamford - It will be too little.

Mr GROOM - I am informed that the building will meet all necessary purposes for some time to come, although Cairns is an important and growing centre. Most careful inquiry .has been made, so that excessive expenditure shall not be incurred.

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