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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3109

Mr Morris asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 1 8 October 1 977:

(   1 ) How many persons were employed in each category of employment by North Australia Railways as at (a) 30 June 1976 and (b) 30 June 1977.

(2)   What are the future services proposed to be provided by North Australia Railways.

(3)   What is the present state of repair of (a) workshops and buildings at each location and (b) railway tracks which were under the control of North Australia Railways as at 30 June 1976.

(4)   What was the expenditure and income of North Australia Railways in 1976-77, and what are the estimated comparative figures for 1977-78.

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

(   1 ) Number of employees, North Australia Railway:


(2)   Services on the North Australia Railway have been replaced by the more efficient co-ordinated rail/road service to Darwin since 30 June 1976. It is not proposed to reintroduce rail services on this line unless sufficient traffic develops to warrant it. However, the Government will continue to provide the best transport facility possible to cater for the needs of the people of the Northern Territory.

(3)   (a) Workshops buildings in Darwin are in good repair and will be leased as vacated. Administrative offices in Darwin require repair after Cyclone Tracy but have been handed over to the Department of Administrative Services for attention and leasing as approved for occupation. Transportable and prefabricated buildings and equipment from all locations are being transferred south for use elsewhere on Australian National Railways. Because of their remoteness houses at line locations are difficult and expensive to maintain and are not generally in suitable places for other than railway purposes. But efforts are being made to arrange tenancies at minimal rentals provided houses are satisfactorily maintained.

(b)   The railway tracks are in a minimum condition of repair. However, should sufficient traffic develop to warrant reintroduction of rail services, I am advised that the track will be brought back to a safe working standard for the volume of traffic that might eventuate.

(4)   Expenditure on the North Australia Railway totalled $1,440,100 in 1976-77 and covered a gradual staff reduction program commensurate with the necessity of transferring locomotives, rolling stock and equipment to other parts of the ANR system. It is anticipated that winding down operations will be finalised in 1977-78 and expenditure for this year is estimated at $450,000.

Income in 1976-77 of $92,042 was derived mainly from rem producing properties, and is expected to approximate the same level in 1 977-78.

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