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Thursday, 31 March 1966

Sir KEITH WILSON (Sturt) .- We have before us a proposal for northern development - the construction of a road from near Humpty Doo to Mount Bundey in the Northern Territory. It is a proposal to carry out an urgent work, a proposal for developing the north, yet the Labour Party is attempting to obstruct this development. The proposed road is essential to enable iron ore to be transported efficiently and cheaply from Mount Bundey to the railway line and then on to Darwin. We cannot allow this urgent work to be obstructed by the Opposition. The Labour Party talks about northern development, but whenever the Government proposes to carry on with its excellent record of northern development, we find all kinds of obstructions placed in the Government's way by members of the Opposition. It amazes me that these people who talk so much about northern development in this Parliament are not congratulating the Government upon getting on wilh the job as quickly as possible. This proposal is for the construction of 27 miles of road to permit of the cartage of iron ore. We have a wonderful opportunity at the present time to develop these mineral resources in northern Australia. The policy of the Government is for thorough investigation and to get on with the job as quickly as possible. We find that every attempt that is made to do this is met with obstruction from the Australian Labour Party.

I suggest to honorable members that they support this motion because of its urgency and because of the urgent need to develop our northern areas as quickly as possible. The Government has investigated this proposition through its very competent officers. Urgent work of this nature should not be held up while members of the Australian Labour Party go for trips up to this area and look at this urgent work. If the work were not urgent, this motion would not be before the House. The Minister in his speech has stated quite clearly that this work has become urgent because the road has to be completed by the time the ore is ready to be transhipped to Darwin. If this matter were referred to the Committee and if, say, six months or more were taken by the Committee to examine it, obviously the road would not be ready when the ore was available to be transhipped to Darwin. Therefore, I support the Government in its proposal, even if it is exceptional. We have to use exceptional means to get things done quickly in the development of our north. I wholeheartedly support the action of the Government in getting on with this job without further delay.

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