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Thursday, 9 May 1968

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry) - I understand that work on the container berth at Fremantle has been completed. Work is proceeding on schedule on the berths at Melbourne and Sydney. They are not yet completed but they are due for completion in NovemberDecember this year. It is expected that discussions on freight rates will be undertaken between the ship owners, the container operators, and the shipper body fairly shortly, the intention being that the first container vessel will not come out to Australia until approximately March 1969. Consequently, there will be adequate opportunity for a complete examination of these freight rates by the interested parties between now and then. I might add that it is intended that by the completion of berth facilities at the end of this year there will be adequate opportunity to test their capability and to ensure that before the container vessels go into service the berth facilities are adequate to meet the needs of this new type of vessel.

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