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Thursday, 28 November 1974
Page: 2902

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister representing the Minister for Transport will be aware of the criticism which has long prevailed in New South Wales over the provision of public transport services in the Parramatta area. In the light of the long standing need for the introduction of a modern railway system servicing the Parramatta region, can the Minister advise the Senate of the present state of negotiations with the New South Wales State Government over the provision of such a railway system?

Senator CAVANAGH - Yes. Negotiations are taking place between the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government. The Prime Minister wrote to the Premier of New South Wales some time ago offering to build a railway system servicing the area of Parramatta. He indicated that the Commonwealth would accept full responsibility for the cost of such a project. He stated that he wanted it to be a definite contribution to suburban transport around the Parramatta area and that it would be equipped with all available up-to-date carriages and other rolling-stock. The New South Wales Premier replied that he was prepared to cooperate with the Australian Government in such a scheme and in carrying out a feasibility study of the proposal. The result of this co-operation is that there will be some initial assistance offered for the building of a Parramatta railway system. This is a forward step in the building of suburban railway systems. It is unfortunate that Queensland will not co-operate like New South Wales and is depriving its people of assistance similar to that offered to New South Wales; but that is the state of affairs today.

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