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Thursday, 30 October 1913

Senator McCOLL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - With regard to the question of Senator Rae with respect to bricks, I may say that a good deal of experimental work has been going on with the object of finding good brick-making material. At last some has been found, and excellent bricks can be made. Hitherto we have been working with open kilns, but we are going to put up Hoffman kilns, at a cost of about £30,000. The amount required this year is £10,327, and £3,327 has already been spent. The kilns will admit of tile-making as well as brick-making. I should like to point out, with regard to the whole subject, that it would no doubt be desirable to give an estimate of expenditure, but it is impossible for me to do so now. It will be wise to lay down a system of expenditure for the future. These are practically all items preliminary to the construction of the Capital itself. Certain buildings have to go up, such as administrative quarters, power plant, a dam across the Cotter River for water supply purposes, sewerage, and other matters.

Senator Rae - Has the Minister any definite information about the proposal for cement manufacture?

Senator McCOLL - Yes; the information is as follows -

The estimated cost of cement works for a. 50,000-barrel (per annum) plant is £40,000. The expenditure is not likely to exceed , £10,000, because the machinery will take over a year to install. Not much of the plant can be expected for delivery before next June. Geological report by Pittman, Government Geologist, New South Wales ; and Mahoney, Melbourne University; and Griffith Taylor. Limestock rocks sampled and analyzed. Shales also analyzed by Department of Mines, Victoria. Portland cement then manufactured therefrom in experimental furnaces. Results give high efficiency tests. Gibson (consulting engineer, cement manufacture) advises 50,000-barrel plant. Estimated consumption of Portland cement within ten years, 560,000 barrels. Estimated cost of cement at works, 10s. 3d. per barrel (six barrels to ton), after providing sinking fund and interest to write off capital cost in ten years. Present price of cement at Queanbeyan, 14s. 6d. per ton. Saving on 560,000 barrels , £112,000.

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