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Thursday, 28 August 1958

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice -

1.   What was the original estimate of the cost of construction of the St. Mary's ammunition filling factory?

What was the estimated value of the section of the work, the completion of which was deferred until a later date?

3.   What was the total cost of the project?

Mr Townley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The first estimate of April, 1955, was £23,200,000.

2.   Approximately £1,800,000.

3.   The total cost will be within £26,200,000.

Mr L R JOHNSON (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) son asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice -

1.   What equipment, material, tools, vehicles, goods or other miscellaneous items, purchased for use in the construction or operation of the St. Mary's ammunition filling factory, have been sold?

2.   What was the (a) purchase and (b) sale price of each item?

3.   Who were employed as auctioneers and on what terms were they employed?

4.   Were tenders invited for the disposal of items; if so, by what means were they sought?

5.   What are the names of individuals and business concerns who purchased disposal items with a disposal value in excess of £1,000?

Mr Townley - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - 1 and 2. The auction sale held at St. Mary's on 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th April, 1958, comprised over 1,500 lots or 94 pages of auction sale cataloguing. I do not consider that the expense and time involved in the compilation of the information asked for would be justified. The greater percentage of the items sold represented second-hand plant and equipment, &c, which had been used during the construction of the factory and the total amount realized was £185,743. The prices obtained were generally good and in many cases exceeded the original purchase price.

3.   George Hawkins and Company Proprietary Limited, of Sydney, conducted the sale on the standard terms under which all auctioneers act for my department, namely: 5 per cent, on the first £5,000, 3i per cent, on the next £5,000, 2i per cent, up to £15,000, H per cent, to £20,000, and 1 per cent, on realizations over £20,000.

4.   In a number of instances public tenders were invited for the purchase of some materials and equipment. These tenders were advertised in the daily press of New South Wales and tender forms were sent direct to firms and persons considered likely to be interested.

5.   The names and addresses of purchasers at auctions are recorded only by the auctioneers and are not known to my department.

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