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Thursday, 17 April 1969


Senator WRIGHT - The honourable senator's question gives me the opportunity to say with what great regret I was deprived of the honour of addressing the conference to which she has referred, due to a mechanical failure of the aircraft in which I was travelling on Tuesday afternoon.


Senator Gair - Was it a VIP aircraft?


Senator WRIGHT - No, it was a twinengine small aircraft that had been chartered for the purpose. I wish also to inform the Senate that the International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Associations is an organisation the importance of which we will need to be aware in increasing measure in the future. This was one of the earliest organisations established in the Australian-Pacific-Asian region. It was established on the initiative of private enterprise, originating from the Philippines and now attracting the membership of no fewer than thirteen Pacific countries whose building contractors and engineers gather biennially in member countries to discuss common problems.


Senator O'Byrne - Is this the speech that the Minister was going to make to this Convention?


Senator WRIGHT - Not at all. Is the honourable senator not interested? I should have thought that the Senate would have perceived in this information an indication of the growing integration of the Pacific area, not merely in the realm of politics but also in the realm of substantial building as represented by these very formidable contractors. When one understands that in Japan alone, which is one of the countries which are members of this Federation, there are at least five firms with a turnover in excess of that of the Federal Department of Works, and that in the other member countries there are substantial contractors, it can be seen that the whole region, so organised, is contributing in a most dynamic fashion to the integration and building of goodwill and facilities for the progress' of mankind in the area of Asia and the Western Pacific.







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