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Thursday, 15 March 1973
Page: 675

Mr Cooke asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

(1)   Does the Government intend to make money available to the Queensland Government to assist in providing an electric train service in Brisbane's northern suburbs.

(2)   If so, has he bad any discussions with the Queensland Government to date.

(3)   If discussions have not taken place, when does he anticipate they will take place.

(4)   Will any proposed electric railway line terminate at Petrie or Caboolture.

(5)   Will he give an assurance that, in considering proposals for such an electric railway, his Department will investigate the possibility of extending it to Redcliffe.

Mr Charles Jones - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Government has approved in principle a scheme to provide two-thirds of the cost of improving urban public transport. The projects that will be included in this scheme are still to be determined.

(2)   and (3) Discussions on this subject have taken place between all State Ministers and myself at the 39th meeting of the Australian Transport Advisory, Council.

(4)   and (5) As I stated earlier the projects which are to be included in this scheme will be determined after further consultations between the State Governments and the Australian Government.

Currency Changes: Effect on Woodsreef Mines Limited (Question No. 253)

Mr Sinclair asked the Minister for Minerals and Energy, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to the effect of recent currency changes on Woodsreef Mines' asbestos mill at Barraba in northern New South Wales.

(2)   If so, is it a fact that these changes have both reduced revenue and made negotiations for expansion financing extremely difficult.

(3)   Can he say whether this operation, employing 280 people, may close unless the expansion program proceeds.

(4)   What steps are proposed by the Government to ensure that this young company is given every chance to succeed.

Mr Connor - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (1), (2) and (3) Woodsreef Mines Limited has informed me that recent currency changes have resulted in difficulties in arranging finance for the company's expansion program and that without expansion the Barraba operation would no longer be financially, viable.

(4)   The Government hopes that the company, which is opening up a new industry in Australia, will have every opportunity to succeed. 1 understand that the bulk of its production is exported to Japan. I expect to receive a detailed submission from the company within the next few days and 1 have assured the company that the Government will give it close consideration.

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