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Tuesday, 4 May 1971

Senator COTTON (New South WalesMinister for Civil Aviation) - Senator Cant was dealing with Division 350, subdivision 2, item 12, which deals with the fees of private surveyors. The honourable senator asks whether tenders were called for these operations and, if so, what were they? I am informed that there is a standing schedule of fees for survey work. The Department of the Interior has a list of private surveyors from which it selects the consultants considered to be the most experienced and suitable for the type of survey required. Senator Cant made a general observation under Division 350, subdivision 2, item 03 which relates to the increase in postage from 1st October. As he himself said this covers the whole field of Government activity and endeavour. In some cases the amount has been brought into the supplementary estimates and in some cases it has been absorbed.

The honourable senator then asked a series of questions relating to Division 354, rent. There are quite a number of these items. I wonder whether Senator Cant really wants to have all this information read out. There is a tremendous range of expansion. I can give the honourable senator some of this information. Division 354, item 01, Parliament, is a case in point. The extra amount of money required is $56,800. In this item provision is made for the renting of accommodation occupied by Parliament. The increased requirements arose from new and renewed leases entered into between 1st July 1970 and 5th March 1971. For 43-45 Railway Parade, Kogarah, New South Wales, the estimated amount is $1,480; 191 St George's Terrace, Perth $9,875; Ethos House, Canberra $2,219; and Commonwealth Bank Building, Martin Place, Sydney $42,044, making a total of $55,618. Several minor leases, legal costs and outgoings account for an additional $4,000 making a total of $59,618. There is a deduction of $2,818 for savings on terminated leases. That is an illustration of the type of information available to me.


A range of questions was asked dealing with rents paid by the Department of Education and Science, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Primary Industry, the Prime Minister's Department, the Department of Shipping and Transport, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury. Senator Cant made the general observation that over a period of 4 years about $55m has been found by the Commonwealth for the rent of leased buildings. He asked whether an investigation should be made into the justification for building more Commonwealth centres. I suggest to Senator Cant that he and the Senate would be benefited if I arranged for the detailed information I have to be transmitted to him. It would take quite a long time to read out now. I will leave it to Senator Cant to decide. If he would like me to read it out now, I can do so because I have it here with me. Would he prefer that I have it supplied to him?

Senator Cant - May I suggest to the Minister that the information be incorporated in Hansard?

Senator COTTON - I would be quite happy to take that course. With the concurrence of honourable senators I incorporate the material in Hansard.












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