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Tuesday, 3 December 1935

Senator GIBSON (Victoria) .- In regard to the River Murray Waters Commission, is it the intention of the Government to increase the capacity of the Hume Reservoir to 2,000,000 acre feet or to allow it to remain at 1,250,000 acre feet, and subsequently when additional water supplies are required, build weirs in the poorer country in the upper reaches of the Murray? At present the settlers of Tallangatta are like Mahomet's coffin, suspended between Heaven and earth. They expect their lands to be submerged at any time. They should be informed definitely whether the Government proposes to accept the recommendation of the commission, of 1929, that the reservoir should remain at its present capacity and that if additional water were required, new reservoirs should be built at a lower cost than the expenditure involved in the submerging of the Tallangatta district.

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE (Western Australia - Minister for External Affairs) [8.12]. - The honorable senator's question relates to the works Estimates rather than to the salaries and expenses of the department. The only information supplied to us is that in regard to various items in this schedule. Offhand I am unable to answer the honorable senator's question, except to state that I know of no proposal to vary the latest agreement between the three Governments concerned; but I shall refer his inquiry to the Minister for the Interior.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Department of Defence.

Proposed vote,£4,636,200.

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