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Thursday, 9 November 1911

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I desire to know whether any attention has yet been directed to the State which supplies, I suppose, the best class of hard-wood to be found in the Commonwealth. 1 do not know whether a fair quantity of the jarrah of Western Australia Kas been stored for the purpose of being used in connexion with the public works ot the Commonwealth. It is about time, I think, that the Commonwealth obtained from Queensland or Western Australia, or perhaps from New South Wales, a piece of timber country, from which it could draw whatever supplies of timber it needed for public purposes. Owing to the increased cost of the timber required by the Government of Western Australia, they have had to take up a piece of country, and set up machinery, in order to obtain cheaper timber than they could get through the employment of private contractors. The time has arrived, I think, when the Commonwealth might well follow that example. Both in Queensland and in Western Australia there are areas of timber country where timber could be obtained at first cost, and so avoid the payment of the high prices which are at present charged. We have a number of commitments, and, consequently, the prospect of a very large quantity of timber being required in the near future. In my opinion, it is foolish to depend upon contractors to supply this article. I suggest to the Government the necessity of not only collecting every timber which is of proved quality, but also obtaining from some of the States large timber areas, in order to supply the needs of the Commonwealth in hard woods or soft woods, or even in both. That necessity has been forced upon at least one State Government, and there is no reason why the Commonwealth should depend any longer upon private contractors for its supply of timbers, when it could effect a great saving by acquiring a sufficient area of timbered country.

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