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Tuesday, 13 October 1970

Mr Webb (STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   What -appropriations has the Parliament made for the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads in each financial year since 1965-66, including the appropriation for 1970-71.

(2)   What expenditure was incurred by the Bureau during each of the financial years 1965-66 to 1969-70.

(3)   What cash balances have been carried over by the Bureau at 30 June for each of the financial years 1965-66 to 1969-70.

(4)   Do these figures reveal a stationary or reducing financial provision for the activities of the Bureau.

(5)   Is it a fact that cost rises have averaged about 3 per cent per annum over recent years.

(6)   Does this mean that the Bureau is capable of undertaking less activity now than was the case before he was appointed to his present portfolio.

(7)   If so, why has the Government decided that the activities of the Bureau are to be reduced by financial control of this nature.

Mr Sinclair (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry) - The answer to the honour able member's question is as follows:


the proposed appropriation for 1970-71, i.e. the amount included in the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1970. on behalf of the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads, is$636,000.


(4)   The figures reveal neither a stationary nor reducing provision for the activities of the Bureau over the financial years 1965-66 to 1969-70.

When the cost of establishing the Bureau during its formative years is taken into account and to this is added the cost of the first road needs survey, it is apparent that over the years in question there has been an effective increase in the financial provision for the Bureau.

(5)   It is true that of recent years the consumer price index published by the Commonwealth Statistician has increased in the order of 3 per cent per annum. The percentage increase in costs experienced by the Bureau of Roads is not known.

(6)   and (7) The figures do not support this conclusion.

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