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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 874

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. Can the Minister assure the New South Wales branches of the Australian Workers Union and the Municipal Employees Union, which provide the work force for road construction in that State, that ample finance will be available for road construction in New South Wales provided that the Opposition co-operates with us on certain road construction legislation?

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - I think that the honourable senator's question revolves around three Bills which are now on the notice paper and which seek to authorise grants to the States for road construction purposes. I hope that this legislation will be discussed by the Senate this week. It is enabling legislation to implement an agreement between the Prime Minister and the States. The Government is now making interim grants to the States in the hope that the legislation will be passed by the Senate. It has been passed already by the other place. The Minister for Transport has informed the States and the local councils that the interim grants that they have been receiving in anticipation of the legislation being passed will have to be discontinued if the legislation is not passed by the Senate. This morning a statement was made on the radio program 'AM', or one of the other radio programs, that New South Wales was very concerned about this matter. I think that the question will be decided this week despite the fact that I understand amendments will be moved in regard to the legislation. I have sufficient confidence in the Senate to express the belief that the Senate will not deprive the States and the local councils of the money they need for road construction purposes.

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