Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 29 June 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- I am glad that the Minister has referred in such frank terms to the difficulties surrounding one's understanding of the exact financial status of any Department or branch. I would suggest, as is done in the State Parliaments, that an indication be given on the Estimates of the Departments which are revenue producing, and of the estimated revenue therefrom which would give the necessary information to honorable senators.

I desire to make one or two references to postal matters, and to ask that my representations shall be brought under the notice of the Postmaster-General. A considerable time ago the Department of Works and Railways was requested to effect some alterations and additions to the Burnie post-office. The proposal remained in abeyance for a long while, but last year tenders were invited for alterations to the front of the building in order that urgently necessary accommodation might be afforded the public. However, the departmental estimate was very little more than half the sum of the lowest tender received; consequently, no tender was accepted. At that important seaport, which has been accurately described as the front door of Tasmania, absolutely inadequate postal facilities exist. Burnie is a busy - place, having not only the interests of the town itself, and also those of its maritime connexion; but it is the centre also of one of the finest agricultural districts in the northern portion' of ' the island.. The post-office has a counter which is 8£ feet long. At that space must he transacted the business of a post-office, a money order office, a Savings Bank, . and a Pensions Branch, together with all the other activities associated with n post-office building. Inevitably, business becomes congested, and public and . staff are greatly inconvenienced. Some time ago, when urging the PostmasterGeneral to speed up the alterations aud additions, I was informed that the project had been temporarily abandoned, and that a report was being obtained regarding the purchase -'of a site" for the erection pf a new postal building. I urge .-Watt ' the Department concerned should make haste. I nave been told that' during the past year at least fifty additional applications have been lodged for private letter-boxes. The Department is losing revenue. A sum of money was voted last year for the erection of a new postal building at Ulverstone. It is necessary that 'that work also should be put in hand as speedily as possible.

Senator GARDINER(New South

Wales) [9.24]. - I am surprised and disappointed at the lack of "any reference to Canberra by Victorian economist members of this Chamber. As Leader of the Opposition it is my duty to prepare myself with data upon which to debate any matter of public interest likely to arise here. It would seem that all my painfully prepared ammunition concerning the Federal Capital is to be wasted. . I had expected a determined attack, but the threatened - or, at any rate, naturally anticipated - offensive has not developed. It is the responsibility of my Victorian economist colleagues, of course; and I can only presume that they now unanimously favour the transfer of Federal governmental and parliamentary activities to Canberra.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Divisions 125 to 135 (PostmasterGeneral's Department), £S9 8,425.

Suggest corrections