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Wednesday, 14 September 1949

Mr Francis (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) s asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -

Will he prepare a statement setting out all available information in relation to the following items and services in Canberra, showing their comparison with similar items or services in the States: -

(a)   home building - construction costs per square and for an average twobedroom house, not including cost of land;

(b)   production costs of ordinary homebuilding bricks;

(c)   cost of other building materials, such as timber, roofing tiles, flooring, guttering, piping, &c. ;

(d)   the annual cost of running the Canberra omnibus service, the annual revenue from such service and the loss, if any, sustained during the financial year 1947-48;

(e)   the annual cost per mile for the maintenance of roadways within the Australian Capital Territory in comparison with that of municipal and district road boards;

(f)   the cost per unit of electricity supplied to householders;

(g)   the cost-of-living index;

(h)   the over-all estimated annual cost to the Federal Government of maintaining the City of Canberra; and

(i)   the population of Canberra?

Mr Johnson (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for the Interior) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

(a)   Contract prices per square of twobedroom brick houses, March quarter, 1949 -


(b)   Costs of ordinary home-building bricks in the various capital cities are as follows: -


(c)   Prices of basic material, quarter ended 31st March, 1949 -


(d)   The cost of running the Canberra omni bus service for the financial year ended the 30th June, 1948, was £76,374. The revenue was £50,228, with a loss of £26,146. The approximate figures for the financial year


(e)   The cost of maintaining roads within the Australian Capital Territory during the financial year ended the 30th June, 1949, was as follows: -


Information as to comparative costs of road maintenance by municipal and district roads boards is not available. if) Electricity is purchased in bulk from the New South Wales State southern electricity supply at approximately .6d. per unit. The cost of distribution and annual charge for interest and depreciation is approximately 2d. per unit. Electricity is supplied to householders at the rate of 4d. per unit for basic units and ljd. per unit for all units in excess of the basic units.

(g)   Cost-of living index. "C" series. Baseweighted average six capital cities 1923-1927 = 1,000. For quarter ended 31st March, 194!)-


Average sis capital cities - 1,364.

(h)   The over-all cost to the Federal Government of maintaining the City of Canberra for the financial year 1947-48 was £1.045.181. The cost for the financial year ended ' the 30th June, 1949, is £1,24.0,131. This does not include expenditure on capital works and services.

(i)   Estimated population of Canberra as at the 30th June, 1948 - 1S.788 persons.

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