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Friday, 10 December 1965

Mr FREETH - Insofar as the honorable gentleman raises a question of Commonwealth subsidy in the transport of stock, this is rather a question of policy which I do not think should be dealt with at question time. I am afraid I cannot tell him what discussions have taken place between the Railways Commissioners of the Commonwealth and the States regarding the coordination of stock movements. I do know that Commonwealth Railways has kept its freight rates deliberately low. In fact over some sections of the Commonwealth railways freight is transported at a loss. It has refrained from increasing freight rates in recent times in accordance with other freight movements because it realised that pastoralists have been suffering from the effects of drought. Commonwealth Railways is making in this sense a very real contribution in respect of the problem of transporting stock to or from drought stricken areas.

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