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Thursday, 9 November 1911

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - I desire to call attention to the item of £146 for a timber storage shed in New South Wales, and the item of£700 for a similar shed in Victoria. The former item includes £46 for a re-vote, and £100 for new service, while the latter item includes £156 for a re- vote, and £544 for new service. I desire to ascertain the present position regarding the storage and seasoning of timber. A few years ago it was decided to initiate a system of storing timbers for use in Commonwealth works, and a substantial sum was voted on the Estimates for acquiring, during the financial year, a quantity of timber representative of the descriptions available in the forests of the different States. It was proposed to store the timber and season it in a way which private firms could not be expected to do, so that its capabilities would be demonstrated to the utmost. It was anticipated that, by pursuing this policy, we would have in our public works evidence of the suitability of our timber for different purposes in the future. The vote to which I refer does not seem to have been availed of by the Government to the full extent, or, indeed, to any large extent. I should like the Minister to state the purpose for which the items on these Estimates are required, to what extent the policy laid down in a previous session has been followed, and with what measure of success so far.

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