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Friday, 18 May 1928

Mr HUGHES (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Following on the questions asked by the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) and Swan (Mr.' Gregory), does the agreement referred to include a schedule of the road works to be carried out by the States? Is it an agreement at large or does it purport to do something specifically? Is it a fact that there is a detailed agreement as to what shall be done with the money handed over to the States by the Commonwealth for the current year? Does that agreement include the construction of roads in the Federal Capital Territory? If not, why not?

Mr HILL - The agreement has been available to honorable members, and I presume that the right honorable member has seen it. I am surprised that he is not familiar with its contents. I am informed that the road from Goulburn to Collector, a distance of 22 miles, has been surveyed and that a temporary road has been constructed. A contract has been entered into for five miles of road skirting Lake George, and the survey has been completed as far as the Federal Territory boundary. The new road gives a better ruling grade than the road via Queanbeyan. I hope to meet the chairman of the Main Roads Board within the next fortnight, when I propose to discuss with him the matter of roads leading into the Federal Capital Territory. Under the Federal Aid Roads Act the proposals must, in the first instance, emanate from the State Governments. I am prepared to give consideration to any proposal submitted by the States. So far the only approach to the Federal Capital Territory that has been proposed by the Government of New South "Wales is the road from Goulburn to Canberra.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - As local engineers consider ridiculous the estimate of £400,000 for the 20 miles of road to which I previously referred, will the Minister ascertain the kind of road the Roads Board proposed to construct and the manner in which they calculated the cost? "Will he also ascertain the nature and extent of the investigation which officers of the board made in the district, for none of the local people seem to have heard anything of such a visit?

Mr HILL - I ask the honorable member to give notice of the question.

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