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Thursday, 11 September 1958
Page: 1211

Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) .- One of the items in this series of Estimates is the reimbursement to the States of capital expenditure for tuberculosis. It will be noticed by the committee that the amount, which is £1,750,000, is a little lower than it was last year, when it was £2,142,000. The reason for this is that, broadly speaking, the immense chain of hospitals and ward's which have been built throughout the country over the last ten years or so is now almost completed, and the capital expenditure is now starting to fall.

The expenditure has been very large because, during that time, the Commonwealth Government has paid to State treasuries something like £39,000,000 in reimbursement of the cost of new hospitals and equipment and facilities that go with them, and of the cost of maintaining them. The result of the expenditure has been the provision of very fine new hospitals and chest blocks all over the Commonwealth. The most recent of them was opened the other day in Perth. The expenditure also resulted in the provision of a very fine chest hospital at Chermside, in Brisbane, and at the Royal North Shore Hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital and the Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. Wards have been built onto country hospitals in many parts of the Commonwealth as well as onto hospitals in the cities.

Although that is reimbursement to the States for capital expenditure, of course, the total expenditure on tuberculosis for the year 1958-59 is much greater than that. It will be about £7.000,000.

Mr Nelson - What have you spent on a survey of natives in the Northern Territory?

Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - That is just getting under way. T cannot give the honorable member exact figures for it at the moment, but it will be quite a comprehensive survey, and it will complement and complete those that have taken place in all States of the Commonwealth.

Mr Ward - Did you not vote to gag me last night?

Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - I will have much pleasure in doing it again, if the occasion arises.

Mr Ward - I direct attention to the state of the committee.

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