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Thursday, 17 May 1973
Page: 2354

Mr HEWSON (McMillan) - It is not my intention to reply to the silly asides of the honourable member for La Trobe (Mr Lamb). Tonight I appeal to the Government not to deny to rural towns, which have already planned for it, the opportunity to attract people. This House recently passed the Cities Commission Bill and enough argument was put by honourable members on this side of the House against persisting with such a devastating plan. I make the plea particularly for the Shire of Warragul, of whose Council I have the honour to be a member. Only last week the Treasurer (Mr Crean) visited the shire at the invitation of the Develop Warragul Committee and the Council. The Shire President and his wife went to great trouble to ensure that the Treasurer was well feted and given the opportunity to see for himself the great potential for development of our town at a minimum cost to this nation.

I believe that the case presented for the resiting of the Reserve Bank's note printing works was one of irrefutable facts and I am sure that except for a decision having previously been made by the directors of the Bank the Treasurer would have given his approval. However, as he quite rightly stated, the decision was a technical one and he would not override it. But he said that he would do his best to get the directors to reconsider the decision with my Shire. I pay a compliment to the Treasurer for the attitude that he took and the helpful advice that he gave to the development committee. But I am sure that he would agree with me that the project would provide a natural development for the town of Warragul and the towns within a 40-mile radius.

This project would take out of the metropolitan area approximately 1,000 employees and their families into a pollutant-free environment and provide a wonderful opportunity for the economic use of many natural resources within the Central Gippsland region. Quite often people tend to forget that those in rural communities have certain rights and they should not be denied these rights because of a huge commitment to new cities throughout the State. The Central Gippsland area provides a golden opportunity for viable and economic expansion. The Treasurer sees great merit in the case presented to him. He sees the economic utilisation of the natural resources, not only by that industry and region but also by the ancillary industries and the existing industrial development that is already taking place.

These opportunities should not be denied to any area which has similar ambitious development programs. I hope that the new legislation will allow some financial assistance to be given for the development of other than proposed cities, such as the Albury-Wodonga complex. In recognising the need to decentralise, I believe we all agree that we need to take into consideration the available recreational, vocational and environmental amenities in close proximity. These amenities exist within a very short radius of the ribbon development envisaged towards and including the Latrobe Valley. The strangling growth of Melbourne can be solved by such development eastward, and this development can be properly planned to eliminate completely any possibility of pollution. Development to the north, including Albury-Wodonga, has only one outlet for its effluent and that is down the Murray River. I think that problem will be created there. The ribbon development towards the Central Gippsland area presents a wonderful opportunity to resite the note printing works on an economic basis. It would provide employment and also the opportunity for the surrounding areas to be properly developed on an economic basis.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! The House stands adjourned until Tuesday next at 10 a.m. or such time thereafter as Mr Speaker may take the chair.

House adjourned at 10.59 p.m. until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 22nd May 1973, or until such time thereafter as Mr Speaker may take the chair.

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