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Tuesday, 16 September 1958


Mr MENZIES - I cannot answer the first part of the honorable member's question, about people. I shall refer that matter to my colleague, the Minister for National Development. I myself have heard of various vague proposals about bringing in fresh capital in the course of the last eight or nine years, some of them proceeding from the Premier of Tasmania, and some of them from other sources. As to the attitude of the Commonwealth towards Bell Bay, I say two things: First, over the course of the years, I have never heard any discussion about bringing in new capital except for the purpose of extending or improving the operation. Secondly, to represent the

Commonwealth as having adopted a parsimonious attitude on this matter is fantastic. When this enterprise began originally, it began on the footing that Tasmania and the Commonwealth would each find ?1,500,000 for the capital. Since that day, the Tasmanian Government has never found an additional ?1, but the Commonwealth has found the better part of ?9,000,000 in total. If the honorable member is implying that that represents a parsimonious or destructive attitude on our part, and if that is the best propaganda the honorable member can find in his electorate, I wish him joy of it. The fact is that Bell Bay would have disappeared long since but for the attitude of this Government.







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