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Thursday, 15 October 1970

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry) - From newspaper reports I have read I believe that the New South Wales Government has plans for the extension of port facilities at Newcastle and other ports in New South Wales. As far as coal is concerned. I know that my colleague the Minister for National Development has a particular interest in what appear to bc very good prospects for a considerable increase in the volume of coal exports. As I know something about the coal resources of the Hunter Valley I believe that much of this coal would be best dispatched through the port of Newcastle.

At this stage no approach has been made by the New South Wales Government requesting the Commonwealth Government to participate. It is in teres' ing to remember that the Commonwealth Government has helped the State Government in days gone by in the provision of coal loading facilities that are installed at Newcastle. I might add that in the last 12 months 2 meetings have been arranged with respective State Ministers concerned with port developments. In these meetings we have endeavoured to review the general plans and programmes for port development in Australia. I hope that as a result of those meetings the Commonwealth might have a better understanding of the forward programming of the States because after all this field is their responsibility. With a belter knowledge of their plans for future development the Commonwealth might be in a better position to assist in propositions put to it.

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