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Thursday, 15 March 1973
Page: 608

Mr KELLY (Wakefield) - by leave- As Chairman of the previous Public Works Committee and Vice-Chairman of the present one, I support entirely the point of view put by the present Chairman of the Committee, the honourable member for Leichhardt (Mr Fulton). It is quite impossible for the Public Works Committee to do the kind of job that it has done in the past if it is overloaded with references. The previous Committee had a great deal of experience of the difficulties in handling its work and came to the considered opinion that it should recommend to the Government that the amount of $750,000 - the estimated cost of a project must be above this sum before it is referred to the Committee for report - should be increased. The Committee's report suggested a figure of $1.5m. The honourable member for Leichhardt mentioned his personal opinion, to which I add my support, that the sum of $2m would be a reasonable level at which to draw the line. It should be pointed out that the only other possible solution is to have 2 Public Works Committees. I think that this would be quite unwise and that there would be a great deal of difficulty in maintaining a common policy between them. I think it would be much wiser to raise the limit, as the honourable member for Leichhardt suggests.

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