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Thursday, 22 August 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - This year it is proposed to spend a larger sum upon lighthouses in Queensland than is to be expended in any other State. The total expenditure in Queensland, of which this vote represents but the commencement, will be £17,625. Seven new lights will be established there, and alterations and additions will be made to six existing lights. I have not the details as to where these new lights will be located. In the Northern Territory two new lights will be provided, and alterations and additions will be made to two existing lights. Of course, the Minister will be guided in this matter by the reports of Captain Brewis, who has recently visited the Queensland coast.

Senator McDougall - When shall we have information as to where the seven new lights will be placed on the Queensland coast?

Senator PEARCE - The report of Captain Brewis has been circulated, but if honorable senators desire that information I will obtain it during the course of the day.

Senator CHATAWAY(Queensland) [4-351- - I would remind the Minister of Defence that a report on the lighting of the Queensland coast was prepared by Captain Brewis, which, according to a circular received from one of the Departments, has been withdrawn. That officer, I understand, has since submitted another report. Upon the motion for the third reading of this Bill, I would like the Minister to tell us what is the difference between these reports.

Senator MILLEN(New South Wales) [4.36I. - I notice upon these Estimates that the' item " Drill halls " frequently occurs. In addition to providing drill halls at particular places we are asked to authorize the expenditure of a lump sum of £80,000 for the acquisition of sites for the mobilization of stores and for drill halls. Is that £80,000 intended to cover the cost of purchasing sites for drill halls for which provision has already been made, or does it include the purchase of sites for additional halls?

Senator PEARCE(Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) T4-371- - The small amounts on these Estimates for drill halls at particular places are intended to cover the ordinary works which would have been carried out under the old organization. Throughout the Commonwealth there are many drill halls, and from time to time it becomes necessary to extend them by adding to them, perhaps a store-room or officers' quarters. Wherever such items appear in the ordinary Estimates they relate to extensions of existing works.

Senator Millen - There is no acquisition of land associated with them?

Senator PEARCE - No. Where the item is a small one, involving the expenditure of a couple of hundred pounds, obviously it relates to additions to existing drill halls. But Parliament is also asked to authorize a special vote for drill halls to meet the demand for accommodation owing to the establishment of the new Senior Cadet organization. I intend at a. later stage to explain how it is proposed to spend this money, and why we are not in a position to furnish particulars as to sites. The other amounts which Parliament is asked to appropriate in this connexion are intended to make the provision which is required for the existing Militia Forces.

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