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Thursday, 30 August 1928

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Mann (PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I would point out to the honorable member that he is referring to an item on last year's Estimates.

Mr WEST - The sum of £3,250 is shown on the Estimates, and I am quite justified in drawing attention to it. I cannot understand why the Government should expend this money on the dockyard and at the same time carry out negotiations for its sale to a shipping monoply. I have seen the naval and military work-shops of Chatham, Portsmouth, Woolwich and Shoeburyness, and not one of them is better equipped than the Cockatoo Island work-shops. Surely that dock should be controlled by the Government, if only for defence purposes? The class of work done there is equal to that done at any other naval or military work-shop in the world. While we have a navy and army, we should keep this great national utility under the control of the Commonwealth Government, so that, should the necessity arise, we shall have the appliances with which to build engines of destruction. The Government has spent large sums for machinery to make it perfect. The work-shops at Cockatoo Island can be put to good use, during peace and war, and in the past we have greatly benefited from its operations.

This is a national Parliament, and Ave should rise above petty jealousies. Why should there be any objection to the construction of a road from Goulburn to Canberra, which will afford an additional means of giving our fellow citizens an opportunity of viewing this beautiful capital city, for which visitors from abroad have nothing but admiration.

I urge the Government to establish a wireless station at Lord Howe Island, and to reconsider its decision to dispose of the Cockatoo Island Dockyard.

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