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Friday, 14 October 1904

Mr CULPIN (Brisbane) - I voted against the introduction of this measure solely for the reason that I considered it premature, and I am afraid that I shall have to vote against the Bill itself, even though it be amended as suggested. The time is hardly ripe for the making of a survey, 'but no one can say that it would be premature, at this stage, to give effect to the- suggestion, made by the honorable and learned member, for Parkes, that, the land along both sides of the proposed route should be reserved. That is a most necessary and .reasonable precaution to take. The sooner the possibility that this land may be- required is provided for the better it will be. We have already adopted a somewhat similar course in , dealing with the lands required for the purposes of the Federal Capital, by providing, in the Property for Public Purposes Acquisition Act, that land acquired by the Commonwealth shall be assessed at its value on. the 1st January preceding the date of acquisition. In these circumstances, I think it would be well to provide in this Bill for the reservation of the land on both sides of the line.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Bill providing for the construction of the line would be the proper one in which to make such a provision.

Mr CULPIN - I 'do- not agree with the honorable gentleman. I hold that it should be inserted in the measure now before us. We made provision for the valuation of the land to be acquired for the purposes of the Federal Capital before1 we had actually decided upon the site of the capital, and I think that we may well provide in this Bill for the reservation of the land along the route of the1 projected railway. I shall support the honorable member for New England in any proposal he may make in that direction, believing that in doing so I shall assist in improving the Bill, and that the time is opportune to take such action.

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