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Tuesday, 26 July 1904

Sir JOHN FORREST (Swan) - It seems to me that the Government are doing right in asking the House to vote for the proposed sites in districts. The Minister of Home Affairs has grouped them in three districts ; Lyndhurst being the centre of the western district; in the southeastern district are grouped Bombala, Delegate, Dalgety, and Coolringdon; while in the southern district are such places as Tumut, Gadara, Batlow, Welaregang. Last session the House was asked to decide between Orange, Bathurst, and Lyndhurst in the western district., but those who favoured those sites have .now determined to join, forces in support of Lyndhurst, and it seems to me that those who are interested in the sites in the southern and south-eastern districts should have a similar opportunity to combine in favour of one or other cf those districts. I think, however, that it is desirable to more strictly define the proposed districts. Thus, we might say that the western district comprises an area within, say, fifty miles - or whatever other distance might be considered proper - of Lyndhurst; defining the south-eastern district as being the area within a radius of, say, fifty miles of Dalgety, which would include Bombala and the other sites there; and the southern district as the area within, say, fifty miles of Tumberumba, which would include Tumut, Gadara, Batlow, Welaregang, and the other sites in that district. From the ' point of view both of fairness and convenience, it is better to deal with the sites in districts. I do not think that every site would have a fair chance if theywere dealt with separately, because, for instance, honorable members who would join in voting for the southern district, might throw away their votes upon Gadara, Batlow, or some other site near Tumut, instead of combining as those who are supporting the Lyndhurst site have done.

Mr Reid - I think the proposal very unmanly, because all the remaining sites are being grouped against Lyndhurst.

Sir JOHN FORREST - To my mind there is no unfairness at all. My only desire is to exercise my vote to the best of my judgment. It is, of course, necessary that honorable members shall have due notice of the date of the proposed ballot.

Mr Batchelor - The Government will agree to that.

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