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Friday, 31 October 1913

Senator BLAKEY (Victoria) . - I shall not delay the Committee, but this is the only opportunity I have to draw public attention to the manner in which expenditure on hew works and additions for postal buildings in the State of Victoria is allocated. I understand that many members of the present Government profess to be the friends of our producers and the residents of the country districts, yet I find from an analysis of the vote set down for new postal works in this State that, out of a total proposed expenditure of £85,156, no less than £54,182 is to bo expended in the metropolitan district, and only £30,974 in the whole of the country districts of the State. I am not' objecting to necessary expenditure in the metropolitan area, but it does seem to me that the country districts, in which more than half the population of the State reside, are not receiving proper consideration in the matter of expenditure on new works. If I take the expenditure proposed for additions under these votes for this State, and eliminate a vote of £6,093 for sundry offices, I find that, out of a total vote proposed of £7,717, no less than £6,513 is to be expended in the metropolitan area, and a little over £1,200 in the whole of the country districts of the State. I enter my protest against what I regard as an unfair distribution of expenditure for this Department. 'I hope that when the next Estimates are being framed the country districts will receive more consideration.

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