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Wednesday, 4 June 1969

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) - I wish to refer to clause 5 which deals with the supplementary grants to South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The provision of $40.8m to Western Australia over the next 5 years means that the State will receive not less than 50% more than it is receiving in the present quinquennium. I should like the Minister to tell me whether the Commonwealth imposes a condition to the effect that the supplementary grant shall be divided in the same proportions as are the principal grants over the five classifications of roads. I point out that clause 6 states:

Moneys paid to a State under the last preceding section shall be expended on the construction and maintenance of roads.

I have raised this matter because I understand that the Department of Main Roads in Western Australia has asked the local authorities to spend this money proportionally on the various classifications of roads referred to by the Commonwealth Bureau of Roads.

Earlier Senator Milliner referred to the Perth statistical division and pointed out that it extended from Rockingham in the south to Wanneroo in the north. In this statistical area there are a number of local authorities within whose areas are to be found a large number of rural roads. I am thinking of the Swan Guildford shire as being one. This authority is not able to spend any money that is allocated to other rural roads because it lies within the Perth statistical area. So that the construction and reconstruction of land access roads and special purpose roads may be undertaken, is it possible for some of the supplementary grant to be allocated to shires on the outer edge of this statistical area?

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