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Thursday, 6 October 1927

Senator COX (Queensland) .- I have a personal knowledge of the Wolgan Valley shale oil deposits and I know that, if the Government could be prevailed upon to grant financial assistance, a number of private citizens would be prepared to invest £100,000 in a company for the exploitation of the shale. I doubt, however, if that amount of capital would be sufficient.

Senator Ogden - Are they still experimenting.

Senator COX - No. At present there are only about twenty people there, and the position generally is most unsatisfactory.

Senator Foll - They are all " broke."

Senator Cox - I do not know that that is so.

Senator Elliott - Why was so much machinery put in before the deposit was properly tested?

Senator COX - The company worked the shale for several years. There is no doubt about the quality of the Wolgan Valley and the Capertee shale deposits. They are of enormous extent and are exceedingly rich in oil contents, but unfortunately, up to the present, it has not been possible to work them economically.

Senator Elliott - What is the use of assisting concerns that cannot be worked economically ?

Senator Sir William Glasgow - I understand that distillation is the chief problem. '

Senator COX - I am informed that but for the working conditions, the company could get all the oil it wanted from the shale; but as things are, the cost is prohibitive.

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