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Wednesday, 13 December 1911

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - I wish to direct the attention of the Minister to the fact that when I was in Rockhampton last I found that the Rockhampton Post Office, which is a very fine building, was in a condition, internally and externally, which was a disgrace to the Department. I found that the Post Office in Townsville, which is also a fine building, was not in a very much better condition. I made inquiries as to what the Department was doing in the matter, and the answers I got were very unsatisfactory indeed. These buildings are ornaments to the towns referred to, and were built by the State Government, having in view the growing importance of those towns. I ask now whether the Department has done, or purposes to do, anything to put them in a decent state of repair, or in the condition in which they were when they were transferred to the Commonwealth? No business man in Rockhampton or Townsville, having an establishment of anything like the same importance, would permit this building to get into such a shabby condition, externally and internally, as those fine buildings are in.

Senator Givens - The Rockhampton building is almost new.

Senator ST LEDGER - That is so ; yet for lack of repairs and attention, both these buildings are in part going to ruin, and if not soon attended to, it will cost thousands of pounds to restore them to the condition in which they were when taken over by the Commonwealth. Every officer in the Postal Department in Rockhampton and Townsville is aware of the fact I have stated. I believe that our inspectors have reported upon the buildings, and yet nothing is done to preserve them. I ask the Minister to give us an assurance that something will be done to put these buildings into a proper state of repair.

Senator McGREGOR(South Australia - Vice-President of the Executive Coun

Senators St. Ledger and Sayers of the rotten condition of things in Queensland. Could any one imagine that a post-office so substantially built, and so recently built, as that at Rockhampton, could have been allowed to get into such a dilapidated condition in such a very short time ? With respect to the post-office at Herberton, referred to by Senator Sayers, I should like to say that if it was built by the Queensland Government some time ago-

Senator Sayers - rOver twenty years ago.

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