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Wednesday, 29 June 1921

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - There is a vagueness about some of the items, particularly in this Department. I would understand from the item of £29,000 for the working expenses of the Kalgoorlie-Port Augusta railway that it represented the monthly loss on the working of the line. I notice that it is not a payment to a trust fund, as in the case of previous items to which I drew attention. So far as my knowledge goes, the £50 for the Queanbeyan-Canberra line is not for actual working expenses. I understand, that a few: men. are at work carrying the line further into the Territory, and the item is intended, I think, to meet expenses in that connexion. . The other items for the working expenses of Commonwealth railway lines total £32,100 for the month, which is at the rate of £385,200, or nearly £400,000, per year.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is not all loss. It represents the working expenses, which have to be voted by Parliament; but there is also revenue coming in.

Senator DUNCAN - That is the point I want to have made quite clear. The income Of the lines is, I presume, paid into the Consolidated Revenue. Are the working expenses also paid from theConsolidated Revenue, or is any attempt made to meet them from the receipts of the lines? Can the Minister give the Committee any informationas to what loss the Commonwealth railways are making?

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