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Thursday, 30 October 1913

Senator McCOLL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I am in thorough sympathy with all that has been said by Senator Rae. I recognise that lighthouse-keepers have to spend a very lonely life, that they should be well remunerated, and should be given proper holidays. A supervisor of lightbouses has been appointed in the person of Mr. Ramsbotham, and four men are to' be appointed to supervise different portions of the coast. It is believed that those in charge of all our lighthouses will be much more in touch with headquarters than they have been in the past. There was a vote of £15,000 put down, under this heading last year, but only about one-half of the amount was' spent. The balance is being re-voted this year, and £7,462 is a new vote for the year. I shall have a note taken of the remarks made by honorable senators, and we will send them to the Minister of Trade and Customs, under whose charge the 'lighthouses are. ' The total amount of the vote is £15,000. Of this amount £7,538 is a re-vote, which will be absorbed by the following works, which are almost completed : -In Bass Strait, alteration to light at Gabo Island, new optical apparatus at Wilson's Promontory, new light at Citadel Island, and a new light at Cape Liptrap. The sum .of £7,462 for new services covers the construction of steel towers for lights at Westpoint, Tasmania, and on the inner passage of the Great Barrier Beef at Clark Island, Piper Island, Chapman Island, T. T. Reef, Heath Beef, Dhu Beef, and Coquet Island; also at Emery Point, Northern Territory, and at Cape Don. The total cost of the scheme, as outlined by Commander Brewis, is estimated at: New lights and alterations to existing lights, £319,000, and four lighthouse steamers, £240,000, or a total of £559.000. It is proposed to spread the Cost of new lights and alterations over a period of six years, averaging an annual expenditure of £50,000.

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