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Thursday, 1 December 1960

Mr OPPERMAN (CORIO, VICTORIA) (Minister for Shipping and Transport) - While one can appreciate the interest of the honorable member for Mallee in this problem, I should like to point out that rail transport, of course, is a matter for the State authority, and that roads or other forms of transport are under State administration also. But this new port of Portland is one which needs to be developed and, as honorable members know, it was evident at the opening just what a future it will have and what a stimulating influence it will be on that part of the country. As a result of the initiative and support of the Victorian Government

Mr Calwell - But a Labour government started it.

Mr OPPERMAN - Whatever may have been done in the past, the scheme has been brought to fruition by the present Victorian Government. The State Government, through its Minister for State Development, has been in consultation with me already with regard to the shipping aspect. As is well known, the Commonwealth Government always co-operates most readily with the States in any project which will be to the benefit of Australia. I assure the honorable member that if any co-ordination of rail and road transport with the Australian National Line is necessary to channel trade and commerce through the port of Portland, assistance will be forthcoming very readily.

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