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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1645

Mr CORBETT (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - My question which is addressed to the Prime Minister, relates to the Pikes Creek Dam irrigation and town water supply project on the Queensland and New South Wales border. Is the decision as to whether the Commonwealth will provide its one third share of the funds required for this project now in the hands of the Prime Minister? Is he aware that the previous Federal Government had agreed with the State Governments of Queensland and New South Wales to share equally the cost of the dam, which is estimated at $14.5m, and which will provide substantial benefits to towns and districts on that section of the Queensland and New South Wales border? Further, is he aware that considerable work already has been done on the project on the understanding that the Commonwealth Government was to share the cost, and any repudiation of the undertaking given by the previous Government could seriously jeopardise the whole project and the project could be discontinued only with a substantial loss and waste of public funds?

Mr WHITLAM - I have been concerned about the long delay - at least 2 years delay - in carrying out the understandings reached by the preceding government with 2 State governments on this project. My colleague, the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, is submitting the matter to Cabinet, I think next week.

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