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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2374

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) - Senator Cant made reference to the Kailis business at Learmonth. He informed the Senate that he had read my replies to the questions asked by Senator Wilkinson during the hearing of Senate Estimates Committee E. The Department of Air supplied a book to the members of Estimates Committee E. On the second page there appears a summary of revised estimates. Lt the honourable senator looks at the notes on division 707, which deals with the acquisition of sites, he will see that the Budget estimate for acquisition was $515,000. The acquisition of land for the Department of Air is carried out by the Department of the Interior. The officers of the Department of the Interior are responsible for approaching the owners of the land and carrying out the negotiations until a final figure is arrived at. If the honourable senator looks at the notes he will see that the revised estimate is $671,000, which leaves a figure of $156,000 which the Department is seeking as additional appropriation.

At the time of the original estimate the Department of Air believed that in 1971- 72 it would be called upon to pay the sum of $275,000 for this programme at Learmonth. That information was provided to the Department by the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior had said at that time that it believed that the final figure would be $335,000. These are the figures which the honourable senator used. At no stage when I was replying to him on the last occasion did I say that the figure of $275,000 was thought by my Department to be adequate. The finalisation of these negotiations has proceeded more quickly than anticipated. This is not unusual. It happens quite often. I think that I indicated at the time that the negotiations were nearing completion. The final figure is a little higher than that estimated by the Department. All it has done here is to take advantage of the Advance to the Treasurer to seek the balance of the final figure. The final figure for compensation paid to Kailis is $335,000. The cost of reinstatement of the telephone service is $6,521. There are some anticipated small or miscellaneous expenditures which add up to $1,479. That makes a total expenditure on the acquisition of that site and all that is entailed of $343,000. The honourable senator went into some detail about previous discussion and a letter that he had received. I will have a look at what he said. If there is further information which I can provide and which I think will be of use to him, I will make it available.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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