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Wednesday, 11 April 1973
Page: 1291

Mr ERIC ROBINSON (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Is it a fact that several weeks ago the Queensland Premier requested the Australian Government, through the office of the Prime Minister, to join the Queensland Government in a matching grant of 40 per cent for the Gold Coast City Council to assist that Council to restore, stabilise and protect Gold Coast beaches and properties as recommended by the Delft report, at a cost of approximately $14m over 5 years? I further ask: Has a decision been made yet? If so, what is the decision and the reasons for it; and if not, when will a decision be made?

Mr WHITLAM - The Premier of Queensland wrote to me on this matter a couple of months ago. I discussed it with him in Brisbane on 23rd March. I have not made a decision on the matter but as the Premier, I believe, gathered from our conversation, and as I think I remember his saying in a Press report, I would not be holding out any hopes for this proposal. The situation on the Gold Coast is not singular. It has happened in many parts, particularly tourist areas, of Australia. It does seem from my layman's point of view that the local government authorities on the Gold Coast, as in many other tourist areas, have been quite improvident in allowing development on sand dunes and in other areas too close to the beach, and there has been consequent damage to properties and loss of amenities. Any decision by the Commonwealth to assist on the basis proposed - I think it was 2-2-1, Commonweal th-State-local government - would set a precedent having very great ramifications.

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