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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1563

Senator JESSOP (South Australia) - I rise to say a few words in defence of Mr McLeay who cannot defend himself in this chamber. I would suggest that his statement was quite a proper criticism of the development of Monarto. He said that there must be some industrial reason to justify the establishment of any decentralised project. I was very critical of this project when it was first mooted. In a Press statement I suggested that any decentralisation in South Australia should be about 100 miles from Adelaide. I suggested that the northern Spencer Gulf area would be an appropriate area. It has an industrial reason why it ought to be developed. I suggested the area of the river land. It is a fruit growing area. There is an industrial reason why it should be encouraged to expand. I suggested areas further afield. The Port Lincoln area is another area which could be developed profitably in a decentralised way. I also suggested areas in the south-east- Mount Gambier, Millicent and Naracoorte. There is ample reason why those areas ought to be developed.

I share some of the concern which has been expressed by Mr McLeay. I suggest that his criticisms were quite justified. My view is that Monarto will be populated virtually by public servants in the first instance, many of whom would prefer to live in the metropolitan area of Adelaide where they have lived for a considerable number of years. The State Government and the Premier seem to me to be forcing these people out of Adelaide, against their will in most cases. I believe that unless the State Government is very careful there will be a lot of discontented inhabitants at Monarto. Apparently it is a fait accompli as far as the Premier of South Australia and the State Government are concerned. Why do we not experiment with the use of solar energy in that development? I believe that such a pilot study would provide some reason and justification for the establishment of Monarto.

Senator Webster - Tell us something about that.

Senator JESSOP -Would the honourable senator like me to give a little lecture on solar energy? Establishment of Monarto might be justified if the Government agreed to experiment with solar energy in that area.

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