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Tuesday, 17 May 1960

Mr Costa a asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   What is the capital indebtedness of the Commonwealth Railway system?

2.   What is the annual amount of interest payable on loan money in respect of this system?

3.   What percentage of total Commonwealth Railway earnings does this interest represent?

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

1.   The amount of the public debt allocated to Commonwealth Railways at 30th June, 1959, was £15,700,000. Expenditure of a capital nature from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the same date was £29,100,000. The total capital involved at 30th June, 1959, was therefore £44,800,000.

2.   For 1958-59, the allocation of the Commonwealth's interest bill to Commonwealth Railways was £381,527. Together with contribution of £198,426 to the National Debt Sinking Fund and sundry flotation expenses, the total debt charge for 1958-59 was £580,046. The corresponding estimate for 1959-60 is £581,000.

3.   Of the amounts mentioned in 2, interest represents 7.93 per cent., and total debt charges 12.06 per cent., of 1958-59 earnings of £4,810,753. This earnings figure is the gross cash receipts of Commonwealth Railways as credited to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Railways Act.

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