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Tuesday, 27 March 1973
Page: 684

Mr HALLETT (CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Transport. I refer to the Commonwealth aid roads legislation which will be due for renewal in 1974. Can the Minister advise whether he proposes to hold discussions with the State instrumentalities concerned and whether local authorities will have an opportunity to put forward proposals prior to the drawing up of new legislation? If so, what procedures is he contemplating? Will he ensure that adequate funds are available for the continuation of the road construction program including country roads?

Mr CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - The Commonwealth Aid Roads Agreement is at present under review by the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads. Also I am reviewing the present Agreement with a view to submitting to the Cabinet very shortly a proposal on the Government's policy in relation to the establishment of a national roads scheme so that the Commonwealth will have a greater say in what roads are to be built and their priorities instead of the present situation in which the States are determining what roads shall be built. Our national highway system is in a chaotic condition. National roads and roads of major importance, such as the Hume Highway and the Pacific Highway, will never be completed while we persevere with the present system. The whole matter is under review and I hope to be able to present the proposal to Cabinet at an early date.

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