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Wednesday, 1 November 1967

Mr Hansen asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

1.   What reports have been made to him by the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads since the Chairman was appointed in 1965?

2.   Has any action been taken by him or the Commonwealth Government along lines recommended by the Bureau of Roads?

3.   Can he say whether any action has been taken by State Governments along lines recommended by the Bureau?

Mr Freeth (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Shipping and Transport) - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

1.   The Commonwealth Bureau of Roads is at present concentrating on its primary function which is to undertake an assessment of Australia's road needs for the purpose of assisting the Government in its consideration of the grant of financial assistance to the States. Such an assessment is. a lengthy and complex task and will not be completed in the immediate future.

Any reports of the Bureau are intended primarily for the information and advice of the Government and as I have previously stated in this House, Parliament will be informed concerning the work of the Bureau when it is deemed appropriate. Certain reports and studies of a technical nature have been prepared by the Bureau and 1 have deemed it appropriate to approve their release. These are available in the Parliamentary Library.

2.   The Bureau has not yet submitted recommendations in respect of the matters for which it was primarily established. From time to time its advice has been sought on specific matters and due regard has been paid to its views. The views of the Bureau will be taken into account when the Commonwealth Aid Roads Act comes up for review.

3.   The function of the Bureau is to advise the' Commonwealth Government; however, the State governments are co-operating to a very considerable extent with the Commonwealth Government and the Bureau in the collection and provision of data and information.

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