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Thursday, 30 August 1928


Mr FENTON (Maribyrnong) . - I should like some information regarding the sum of £75,000 set down for the reconstruction of the road between Canberra and Goulburn. Why is a special grant from- the Commonwealth Treasury to be made for this particular road? It may be that because this road will be one of the main approaches to the Federal Capital city, the Government considers that it should contribute towards its cost, notwithstanding that the greater portion of the road will be, not in the Federal Capital Territory, but in New South Wales. I direct the attention of honorable members to the footnote on page 372 of . the Estimates, which reads--

Estimated cost of road within the territory of New South Wales is £200,000, of which the Commonwealth will contribute two-thirds and New South Wales one-third. In addition, the Commonwealth will defray cost of reconstruction within the Federal Capital Territory estimated at £50,000.

It will be seen that the total cost of the road will be about £250,000. I do not desire to be. parochial, but I remind the committee that the Government has declined to accede to the requests which I have from time to time made for assistance from the Commonwealth Treasury towards the upkeep of roads leading to munition factories, some of which are situated in my electorate. Some of- these roads are in areas which preclude them from being assisted from the vote of £20,000,000 set apart for road construction under the Federal Aid Roads scheme ; yet here is an instance of a large sum of money being set aside for the construction of a road which has no greater claim on the Commonwealth than have some of the roads I have mentioned.


Mr Maxwell - What is the length of the road inside the Federal Capital Territory?


Mr FENTON - The sum of £50,000 is set down for the reconstruction of that . portion of the road between Canberra and Goulburn which is situated within the Federal Capital Territory. In addition, the Commonwealth will pay two-thirds of the cost - estimated at £200,000- of that portion of the road which is in New South Wales. . I object, not to the expenditure of the money, but to this particular road being singled out in this way for special treatment. Probably the Government- has decided to reconstruct it because the right honorable member for -North Sydney (Mr. Hughes) has been :so consistent in his complaints regarding its deplorable condition. I remind honorable members that New South Wales receives its proportion of the amount set apart by the Commonwealth for the construction of roads throughout Australia. If it is claimed that the Commonwealth is under an obligation to contribute to the cost of this road because of the traffic to and from Canberra, I could put forward more legitimate claims for assistance on behalf of other roads, especially those leading to Commonwealth munition factories.

Provision is also made in these Estimates for the expenditure of money by th





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