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Tuesday, 20 October 1964

Senator GORTON (Victoria) (Minister for Works) .- Senator McClellandreferred to Division No. 483, item 02, in relation to the Department of Civil Aviation. The estimate this year is £4,600, whereas expenditure last year was £36,885. He asked the reason for the decrease. According to the information I am given, the item this year makes provision for the acquisition of land in Papua and New Guinea and in the Northern Territory. Provision is made for the expenditure of £220 on land for building and area development at Lae, £1,000 for Madang, £100 for Port Moresby, £3,135 for Madang again, and £200 for Alice Springs. That makes a total of £4,655. That appears to be more than the estimate, but 1 do not know the reason for that. Last year a large part of the £36,885 provided was expended on the acquisition of land for the extension of aerodromes in Papua and New Guinea. I think the short answer to the honorable senator's question is that a lot of land was acquired for aerodromes last year, and that not so much will be required this year.

The honorable senator asked also about rents. Under this item, funds arc provided for rent payable in respect of land and buildings leased for use by the Department of Civil Aviation in Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Northern Territory and Papua and New Guinea. An amount was provided last year in the expectation that the lease of premises in Darwin would be reviewed from 22nd May 1964. Negotiations and formalities regarding the renewal were not, however, completed before the end of the financial year and the funds provided were not therefore required, with the result that there was an under expenditure.

The honorable senator also asked about the sort of publicity that is undertaken by the Department. The objectives of the publicity are to try to create an awareness in Australia among the public of the tasks and interests that we have in the Territories, and, both in Australia and overseas, to try to give a balanced view of what is happening as a result of Government action and Government policy in the Territories. A film programme is in hand which will cost £20,000. There are films on the economic aspects of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, and the Department is sharing the cost of the film on the recent elections there. Money is required for the production of a film to try to publicise the tourist attractions of the Northern Territory and to meet the cost of publicity for Northern Territory exhibits at annual shows in the capital cities of Australia. Another item is the cost of the " Australian Territories Journal ", which is a bi-monthly publication to provide a medium for the expression of a comparative approach to problems in all of the Australian Territories. The journal seeks also to provide a medium for sustaining interest in the Territories and to inform the public of the work being done by various branches of the Australian Government.

Trade fair booklets are published and also statements of Government policy. Provision is made, too, for photographs and exhibitions. The appropriation also covers travelling allowances for people engaged in this work. That is the general type of publicity for which this money is required during the present financial year.

There is this year, as the honorable senator pointed out, a reduction of £15,000 on the amount appropriated last year, but the appropriation this year is £10,000 more than was expended last year. The increase above the expenditure last year is because money is required to meet the cost of some work which began in 1963-64 but which was not finished at the end of that financial year, and for which money will therefore be required this year in addition to the general run of expenditure.

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