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Wednesday, 17 May 1972
Page: 1773

Senator MULVIHILL asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

(1)   Whal is the specific role of the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation in the construction of the Shoalhaven Scheme.

(2)   Which organisation's view would prevail if a dispute occurred between the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation and the other party to the Scheme, the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board, over the implementation of sound conservation practices.

(3)   What would be the Minister's attitude if a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Environment sought a briefing on the matter contained in (2) and an inspection of the area of the Scheme so as to allay fears of undue despoliation of the bushland.

Senator COTTON The Minister for National Development has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Broadly the Corporation's role is to: complete necessary investigations to finalise the general arrangement of the Scheme; prepare detailed designs and specifications for the various engineering structures which comprise the Scheme; provide recommendations for selection of contractors and act as Engineer for the Contract for administration and supervision of contracts awarded in the name of the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board or the Electricity Commission of New South Wales.

(2)   The short answer is that the view of the Corporation's clients would prevail. The following comments elaborate on the position:

(a)   The Joint Owners of the Shoalhaven scheme are the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board. Sydney, and the Electricity Commission of New South Wales.

(b)   In preparing the detailed designs for each of the structures of the Scheme, the Corporation provides for appropriate conservation measures similar to those practised by the Snowy Mountains Authority on the Snowy Scheme.

(c)   All of the Corporation's designs are subject to approval by the clients. With regard to conservation and landscaping measures the clients have appointed a consultant who has been briefed to work in association with the Corporation on this aspect.

(d)   In any aspect of the Corporation's design affecting conservation practices, should the clients require specific changes, then these changes would be instituted by the Corporation.

(3)   lt would be appropriate for the member of the Senate Standing Committee to make arrangements for discussions and Inspection through either of the State Ministers concerned, namely the Minister for Local Government or the Minister for Public Works. The Corporation would be willing to attend the discussions and inspection if invited to do so.

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