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Tuesday, 24 November 1959

Mr MENZIES - The honorable member did ask me a question about this matter on 17th November. At that time I did not feel able to answer the question for the reasons that he has referred to. I have received requests from both the Premier of Victoria and the Premier of New South Wales to call a conference of Ministers representing the contracting governments to the River Murray Waters Agreement - that is to say, the Commonwealth, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria - to discuss this matter of the Marraboor weir. I have now written to the Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria informing them that the building of the Marraboor weir would be of direct benefit to their States only. The River Murray Waters Agreement contemplates that work for the benefit of two States would be carried out under clause 30 of the agreement and would be paid for by those two States. I informed the Premiers that I was unable to agree to their proposal that the work should be carried out under clause 20 of the agreement, because that would mean that the Commonwealth and South Australia would also contribute. I have suggested to the Premiers that when their investigations have been completed they should then submit a detailed proposal to the commission for consideration under clause 30 of the agreement.

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