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Friday, 30 October 1970

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Prime Minister a question. Have the New South Wales and Victorian Governments at any time applied to his Government for assistance with the Eastern Suburbs and Melbourne underground railways? Whether or not formal applications have been made, I ask him: Is he aware that President Nixon has asked the American Congress to provide $1.0 billion over a 12-year period for the development of urban transport, and that the Federal Government of West Germany is sharing the cost of underground railways in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Essen, Dusseldorp Ludwigshafen, Hanover and Bonn? Since the Commonwealth is now receiving many millions of dollars in repayments from intercaptial railway projects, I ask the Prime Minister whether the Australian Federal Government's failure to give the same assistance for railway projects in Australia's large cities, as the American and German Federal Governments give to similar projects in their large cities, is due to a decision in principle that the Australian Federal Government should not accept such responsibilities, or is it due to doubts about the economic justification of these particular projects?

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