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Wednesday, 19 November 1913

Senator LYNCH - I direct the attention of the Minister representing the Minister of Trade and Customs to the following paragraph, which appears in the report by Commander Brewis on the lighting of the western coast of Australia

The coast-line of Western Australia,; from Eucla to Wyndham, amounts to approximately 3,130 nautical miles. From Eucla to Fort Darwin is a distance of 3,300 miles, of which fully 3,400 miles must be considered imperfectly charted, and, in parts, entirely unexamined.

Accurate charts are obligatory for trade and navigation, and this is a most important coastal requirement. If two vessels proceeded steadily with this work, it would take at least fifteen years, and probably twenty years, to complete.

In view of the fact that only one vessel is engaged in the work, namely, H.M.S. Fantome, and that, according to Commander Brewis, she would require forty years to thoroughly examine the coastal waters of Western Australia, will the Government take into consideration the necessity for securing the services of another survey vessel, so that the work may be completed in a reasonable time? If we are to wait forty years for the present steamer to complete her work, it is difficult to say what damage may be done in the meantime.

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