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Wednesday, 4 December 1935

Senator GRANT (Tasmania) .- Item C31 of Division 144 seeks to appropriate £1,000 for "Payment to Government of New South "Wales for improved railway facilities ". The description is incorrect in that the word "improved" has been wrongly used. Only this morning, a number of senators who travelled by train from Goulburn to Canberra had the unenviable experience of spending about six hours on the journey. The train which left Goulburn soon after 7 o'clock did not reach Canberra until after 1 o'clock - more than half an hour late. At. two stations it remained for about half an hour. Surely something can be done to improve such an unsatisfactory service. I do not know whether the fault lies with the Railways Department of New South Wales or with the Commonwealth Government. If the Commonwealth is responsible, I suggest that it would be better to send one or two motor cars to Goulburn to meet members on those days when the early train does not run to Canberra. The speed of the Limited Express is too great for such a light car as the " dog box " in which we travelled from Albury and which is attached to the rear of the guard's van. There was no conductor on board, and one of the passengers was unable to enter his compartment without damaging the door severely. Perhaps that damage may convince the authorities of the unsuitableness of the car. I hope that the money to be provided will be expended in really improving the railway facilities to the Federal Capital.

I should also like some information regarding Item 04 of Division 144 - " Rabbit and Dingo Extermination - £2,S00". Last year, the sum of £3,250 was voted for this purpose and £2,742 expended. I assume that, although the money is provided for the extermination of both rabbits and dingoes, most of it is used to destroy rabbits. It is scarcely an advertisement for the Federal Capital that it should be known that dingoes abound there in such numbers as to require a vote for their extermination. I hardly think that the item has reference to political " dingoes ". I should like to know what proportion of the amount expended last year was devoted to the destruction of dingoes.

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