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Thursday, 29 May 1902

Sir EDWARD BRADDON (Tasmania) - If Ministers will only satisfy me that no appointment is unnecessarily to be made under this division, and that there will be no expenditure in the way of travelling allowances without due reason, my objection to this item will disappear. I would remind the Minister for Home Affairs that a great portion of the repairs to public buildings owned by the Commonwealth can be carried out more efficiently under the control of the States than under the direct supervision of the Commonwealth department. Provided that there is a general control by the Inspector-General and his staff, which will be useful in the case of larger buildings, I think it might very well be arranged that all the smaller repairs and works of construction should be carried out by the officers of the States. I hope that course will be followed to the fullest extent practicable, having regard to the public interests. I should say that the InspectorGeneral, who will be responsible for the construction of new buildings when the capital is erected, will be very inadequately remunerated by the salary provided in the Estimates. When the federal capital comes to be erected he will have a very important duty to perform, and in my opinion the salary proposed is insufficient, having regard to the importance of the duties of the office.

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