Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Tuesday, 9 August 1904

Mr POYNTON (Grey) - Could we not simplify matters by moving the insertion of the name of a site after the word " be "? For instance, I might move the insertion of the. words " at Dalgety." It would' be open to any honorable member to moye an amendment. If the words I have indicated were inserted, and others were struck out, the clause would read - . . The Seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be (at Dalgety, or any other site that may be determined) in the State of New South Wales.

Then the next clause would have to be amended by the omission of the reference to the area mentioned in clause 2.

Mr Batchelor - My proposal would meet the views of the honorable member.

Mr POYNTON - I do not know that it would.

Mr Batchelor - The honorable, member has not heard it.

Mr POYNTON - I have heard one proposal, with reference to a twenty-five miles' radius, which would include Coolringdon, and that would not suit me. I shall not approve of any site which would have to be supplied with water by means, of a pumping scheme. We know that, in the matter of water supply, Dalgety possesses a great advantage over all the other sites.

Mr Kennedy - Not over all the others.

Mr POYNTON - Yes, it does. I am quite in sympathy with the attitude assumed by the honorable member for Hume. If two of the supporters of his proposal had not been absent the results might .have been very different.

Mr Austin Chapman - No, they would not. Two supporters of the Dalgety site, namely, the right honorable member for Adelaide, and the honorable member for Brisbane, were also absent.

Sir William Lyne - The honorable member for Barrier was absent, and that is why the honorable member for Brisbane stood out.

Mr POYNTON - I am quite sure that no honorable members wish to see a selection' made by means of a catch vote.

Mr Reid - Hear, hear. The site selected should stand against every other.

Mr POYNTON - Exactly, 'i trust that, after the site has been selected, allhonorable members will assist the Government in bringing about' a practical result, because it may be necessary for all of us to make a stand against outside influences in order to achieve our object. I shall wait until I hear what the Minister of Home Affairs proposes. If I do not approve of his amendment, I shall propose to insert the words, " at Dalgety" after the word "be."

Mr BATCHELOR - The objection to' the amendment suggested by the honorable member for Grey is that it would be too rigid altogether. If it were determined that the Seat of Government should be at Dalgety, we should be compelled to select a site within the boundaries of the township of that name. I am sure that the honorable member does not wish that. The amendment which I desire to submit is upon the lines of the suggestion of the honorable member for South Sydney, that the Seat of Government should be situated within a radius of seventeen miles from the town of Dalgety., but I have framed my proposal in a somewhat different form. As the Prime Minister has pointed out. it would be better not to create a blank, but to first fix upon a site, and then to afterwards strike out" any words that mav be unnecessary. Before we create a blank, let us decide what we intend to do. I desire to withdraw the present amendment, and to then submit a proposal to insert after the word " within," the words " seventeen miles of."

Mr Crouch - Why not specify a radius of twenty-five miles ? '

Mr BATCHELOR - I do not care very much whether we- adopt a seventeen or a twenty-five mile radius, but as we are to fix the site and not the territory, I think that the Committee should give the Government a clear indication of the locality in which they desire the Seat of Government to be, and not leave the question too open. If we adopt a radius of seventeen miles from any given point, we shall embrace an area of 900 miles, and surely that should be sufficiently large to afford the Government and their officers the necessary latitude in choosing a site.

Mr Spence - Should not the site be in the centre of the territory ?

Mr BATCHELOR - Not necessarily.

Mr Reid - The territory could afterwards be so shaped as to insure that the Capital should be in the centre.

Mr BATCHELOR - Under my suggested amendment, it would be open" to the honorable member for Hume to propose some site other than Dalgety. All I suggest at present is that the words " seventeen miles of " should be inserted after the word " within." Afterwards Dalgety or any other site could be submitted.

SirWilliam Lyne.My only chance would be to move an amendment upon the first site proposed.

Mr BATCHELOR - It would be open to the honorable member to move any amendment he chose. What he desires to obtain is a straight - out vote for or against the Tooma site.

Mr Reid - No; the honorable member for Hume wants to pit the Tooma and Tumut sites against the Dalgety site; two against one would not be fair.

Mr BATCHELOR - Every fair opportunity would be afforded to the honorable member for Hume to propose" a site in the Southern District. He could propose his site before 'any other was submitted to the Committee. I shall place no obstacle in the way of his moving an amendment before that which I have indicated.

Suggest corrections