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Thursday, 12 April 1973
Page: 1462

Mr Bourchier asked the Minister for Tran sport, upon notice:

(1)   Does the Government propose to provide grants to urban public transport to provide free off-peak transport to State capitals and provincial cities.

(2)   If so, will the Government give an undertaking to provide similar grants to private transport operators in provincial cities where there is no public transport system.

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

(1)   and (2) On 16th February I announced that the Australian Government had approved in principle a scheme to provide two-thirds of the cost of improving the urban public transport services. At the same time I announced that the Government was also prepared to examine the needs of the major provincial centres with a population of 100,000 or more and to consider improvements in the corridors linking these centres with capital cities.

The implementation of this assistance scheme is regarded by the Government as a matter of top priority and we are currently examining with State Governments possible proposals for inclusion.

The question of providing grants for free off-peak travel will be examined in more detail at a later stage in conjunction with State transport authorities. The Government is fully aware of the role and importance of private bus operations in both outer areas of large cities and in provincial centres.

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