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Wednesday, 12 September 1973
Page: 862

Mr KELLY (Wakefield) - The report by the Public Works Committee on this matter contains a map of the road. If honourable members would look at the map they would understand the debate more clearly. Last year the Public Works Committee considered this reference. The Minister for Housing (Mr Les Johnson), who has the responsibility of introducing this matter today, was a member of that Committee and he, amongst others of us, decided to recommend that the road should not follow the cliff face all the way round. This recommendation was carried by the previous Committee with only one dissentient voice. It is worth noting that that dissentient voice was that of the honourable member for

Hunter (Mr James), who had the courage to stand up for what he considered to be right. That report was received by the previous Government. A considerable amount of concern was expressed, firstly, about the route of the road along the cliff face. It was felt by many of us that it would endanger the cliff face in a rather serious manner. Subsequently the Department of Works was able to re-route the road to some extent and bring it back further from the cliff face. This changed the plans that were submitted to us again.

Both reports - they should be considered together - are an indication of the kind of attitude the Public Works Committee adopts to its references. I have been proud to point out before that there has never been a political division within the Committee. The honourable member for Hunter opposed the first recommendation; Senator Jessop opposed it the second time for reasons which seemed good and proper to him. The reasons are made clear in the report. I commend the Government for re-submitting this matter to the Committee. I think it was necessary to re-submit it. I changed my mind. I hope it is not the last time I will change my mind. I am prepared to change it when the logic of events suggests that I should do so. I pay a tribute to the honourable member for Hunter, who has been a very valuable member of the Committee, particularly in its work in the Northern Territory. We have missed him since he has left the Committee. We have other members, of course, of whom I am not in any way critical. The motion before us today shows just how right the honourable member for Hunter sometimes is.

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