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Tuesday, 22 March 1927

Senator CARROLL ("Western Australia) . - I bring before the .notice of the Government the . desirability of increasing the grant for the provision of airways in Western Australia. During last session a deputation, comprising Western Australian members, waited upon Sir Neville Howse, with a request that a further sum of approximately £7,000 per annum should be provided to enable the existing air service which now terminates at Derby to be extended, via Hall's Creek, to Wyndham. The Minister informed the deputation that no money was available for the purpose. I submit that the importance of that portion of the Commonwealth warrants provision now being made along the lines I have indicated. Residents there are now dependent on a very erratic mail service by steamer; if they are fortunate, they receive a mail about once a month. The people of Western Australia are very proud of Western Australian Airways Limited. Visitors from the eastern States and other countries have stated that the air services in Western Australia tire unsurpassed in any part of the world. It is unfortunate that, for the sake of an additional expenditure of £6,000 or £7,000 per annum, the people beyond Derby should be without proper means of communication.

Senator Pearce - I understood that the deputation requested that the service should extend to Darwin.

Senator CARROLL - No; only to Wyndham, via Hall's Creek. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Needham) referred to the isolation of the wireless operators at Willis Island. They ate very little more isolated than are the people north of Derby.

Senator Needham - With the exception that they do occasionally see a few of their fellow .men, whereas the Willis Island people do not.

Senator CARROLL - That is so. Any one who is familiar with the north-west coast of Western Australia will realize the difference which the air service has made. I trust that Senator Grant will not regard this request as a further grant to Western Australia.

Senator Grant - I do not mind this request.

Senator CARROLL - Seeing that the honorable senator has given his approval to it, I hope that the Government will do the same.

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