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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Mr DEAN (Robertson) .- Mr. Speaker,without commenting on or in any way adding to what the Minister for Works (Mr. Freeth) has just said in reply to the remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell), may I add two things from the stand-point of the Public Works Committee for the benefit of the Leader of the Opposition. I refer, first, to the selection of a site for the proposed new Customs House in Melbourne adjacent to the present site rather than deciding on the Commonwealth centre, in Spring-street. When the honorable gentleman reads the committee's report, he will find that the committee gave a great deal of thought to this proposal, and that evidence was taken from a very wide range of witnesses. That evidence overwhelmingly favoured keeping the Customs House as close as possible to the location of the present building.

Secondly, I wish to deal with the need for parking space. This, also, was investigated by the committee, and considerable evidence on the matter was taken. On the evidence given, the committee is satisfied that very few of the clients of the Department of Customs and Excise who have occasion to go to the Customs House use private transport. Because the offices of the clients are mostly close to the proposed site for the new building, the clients will mainly use public transport or go to the building on foot, and it is considered that sufficient parking space is being provided for the few cars that it is thought will be used.

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