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Tuesday, 26 July 1904

Mr MAUGER (Melbourne Ports) - I thank the Government most sincerely for their efforts to provide work for the relief of the unemployed. I now suggest to the Government the advisability of taking steps to carry out, at any rate, a section of the work of placing telephone, telegraph, and other electric wires underground, especially in the city of Melbourne. The late Government proposed a loan of£500,000, the greater portion of which was to be devoted to this particular work; but it was urged that the scheme should be provided for out of revenue. I strongly suggest that the Government should, at any rate, commence this important work, which would not only provide employment, but go far towards removing dangerous and unsightly overhead wires in the city of Melbourne.

Mr Bamford - There are other cities besides Melbourne.

Mr MAUGER - This particular work is considered a matter of importance to Melbourne, bearing in view fire brigade and other practical purposes.

Mr. JOSEPHCOOK (Parramatta).I beg to urge the claims of Sydney to some work of this kind. I hope that when the question of the unemploye'd is under consideration the Government will not confine their attention merely to Melbourne, but will take a Federal view, and do all they can to provide work for unfortunate men. There is plenty of work which might be carried out in Sydney with immense advantage, and some has already been done, with the greatest possible advantage to the Department. I urge very strongly an extension of the work on any legitimate lines. I hope that the Government will keep this in mind when they are considering the question of the relieving the unemployed of Melbourne.

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