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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Mr O'CONNOR (Dalley) .- As to-day is Grievance Day I shall not detain the House for very long. It is important that some reply should go on record to the observations that have been made in relation to this report. In the first place, the honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) tried to make out that the cost appeared to be inordinately high. I want to assure the House that the cost factor was investigated very thoroughly, and the committee is quite satisfied that, as a result of its investigations and of the estimates which were presented to it, the cost of this hospital is in keeping with that of hospitals which recently have been or are being built in other parts of the world.

The question of public contributions towards the cost of building hospitals is a matter for the people of Canberra, and I shall not say any more about it.

Finally, the honorable member for Chisholm referred to the danger of flooding. The committee was told that the 1,835-ft. level would be reached by floods only once in 200 years. However, the committee has recommended that an additional 2 feet should be allowed, and we have been assured by the best available authority on this aspect that this will be an adequate safeguard.

The cost factor caused the committee grave concern, so much so that we called for additional evidence on it. The recommendation which we have submitted to the Parliament is based on the best evidence which was available to us.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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