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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr Cairns s asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -

1.   What is the value of cleaning contracts for Commonwealth offices in Canberra?

2.   Were any tenders called for these contracts, if so, in what manner?

3.   Is the method of exploring the market and granting contracts for Commonwealth offices in Canberra similar to the method of calling for tenders and granting contracts used for Commonwealth offices in other parts of Australia?

4.   If not, what is the reason for the difference?

Mr Fairhall - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Seven contracts are current for a total value of £81,181.

2.   Yes: public tenders were invited by advertisement in the press.

3.   Yes.

4.   See answer to No. 3.

Postal Building at Bateman's Bay.

Mr ALLAN FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) r asked the Postmaster- General, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that Bateman's Bay is the centre of the timber industry and that many of the mills in this district have been forced to close for want of orders?

2.   Is a residence of timber grown in Sweden and prefabricated in England now being erected at Bateman's Bay for the postmaster?

3.   If these are facts, do not they resemble an " Alice in Wonderland " phantasy?

4.   Is the timber from Sweden of poor quality?

5.   Is the whole procedure an outrage against common sense; if so, what will he do about it?

Mr Davidson - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: -

An imported prefabricated residence is being erected for the postmaster at Bateman's Bay. A number of prefabricated buildings were obtained by the Commonwealth some years ago to relieve the tremendous strain which the post-war building demand placed upon the supply of local materials and man-power. The plans for the Bateman's Bay residence were submitted to the Eurobodalla Shire Council in September, 1955, when the local saw-mills were in full production and no objections were raised. The limitation of resources available for Commonwealth works and urgent demands elsewhere caused some delay in advancing the project to construction. It is the general policy of my department and the Department of Works, which is the constructing authority, to use local building materials wherever possible. All the materials used in the Bateman's Bay residence are of satisfactory quality.

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