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Friday, 31 August 1928

Mr MCGRATH - The Government is afraid of Billy Hughes.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I cannot imagine that the Government has sanctioned this work merely to please the right honorable member for ' North Sydney. Evidently he is backed by big city interests. I have no objection whatever to the, construction of roads if they are taken in order of merit. This road may be justified, but there are many other roads that should first be constructed. The honorable member for Riverina (Mr. Killen) and myself have already placed before the Government facts and figures relating to a proposed road through very valuable country with immense timber and agricultural resources. The Minister has stated that it would cost £20,000 a mile to construct the road, but a wellknown road maker, "who is on the spot, is prepared to do the work at one-quarter of that figure. He has placed his proposal before the local shire council, but the Main Roads Board has decided not to sanction the work, evidently because it would not serve city interests. We should consider every proposed road on its merits, and I venture to say that if the proposal to construct a road from Goulburn to Canberra were considered on its merits no honorable member would agree to it. What justification is there for building such a road? It is an amazing thing to me that money can be found so quickly and mysteriously for comparatively non-essential works of this kind, while the Government proposes to cut down the supply for great national works such as the Hume reservoir, and other road construction schemes which have long been calling out for completion.

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