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Thursday, 16 May 1957


Minister had .every opportunity ito give his reasons for the increase, but he did not do so. We have had only half the story of this further twist to the tail of transport costs in this country. It is not good enough for people in this .place merely .to rise in their places and say that they hope something will happen. The Government, in inflicting increased transport costs on the community, should be .perfectly clear where it is going, and we in .this place should be told why it is -necessary to .do so. I -remind the House that the proposed increase of the charge will further increase transport costs, which already account for 33 per cent, of the total costs in industry.

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - What justification has the honorable member for assuming that there will be an increase of transport charges?

Mr E JAMES HARRISON (BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My justification is that the best that the Minister has been able to tell the Parliament is that he hopes something will happen. We are entitled to something better -than that. The increase from ls. 7d. to 2s. -is an increase of 1*6 per cent.

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - Yes, but it is not an increase of freight costs.

Mr E JAMES HARRISON (BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish that the Minister would hear what I have to say before he -states his case.

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - The honorable member is arguing on 'wrong premises.

Mr E JAMES HARRISON (BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If we are to be asked, as a Parliament, -to -increase charges in respect of any transport authority, we are entitled to information on the -matter in a more appropriate fashion than by i way .of .interjections 'from the Minister in charge of the bill.

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - If the honorable member reads :my second-reading speech, he will ,have all the information he needs.

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