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Thursday, 24 June 1915

Mr BURCHELL (Fremantle) .- I agree with the honorable member . for Kooyong that we should treat the lighthouses as transferred properties, and be responsible for them as if they were transferred properties. However, it is not my intention, as a layman, to go into the pros and cons of the matter, which is rather one for determination by the legal fraternity. I rose chiefly to draw attention to a want in the administration of the lighthouses. Recently, I visited the lighthouse at the Leeuwin, and whilst there met with an accident, which led to the discovery that not a man on the staff of the lighthouse had any knowledge of first aid, although the nearest medical man was 50 or 60 miles distant. There are a great many places in Australia where the staffs of lighthouses cannot, secure medical service except at great cost and inconvenience; and I urge the Minister to see that when new appointments are made the appointees shall be men qualified to render first aid. It is proposed to appoint naval men to the lighthouse staff, but I do not think that we should restrict our choice to men of the Royal Navy, because I believe that in our mercantile marine there are other men quite as good. But in both services most of the men have some knowledge of first aid, and it would not take them long to secure a certificate of competency. At least one man on the staff of every lighthouse should be duly qualified to render first aid, and every lighthouse should besupplied with all necessary medicines, bandages, and appliances for dealing with sickness or injury. At Cape Leeuwin,. there was not even methylated spirits, and I have a vivid recollection of the consequences of an application of kerosene to my ankle.

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