PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6344

UNKNOWN

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/03/1984

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 6344

PRIME MINISTER
For Media 15 March 1984
The Prime Minister today held discussions with the
South Australian Premier, Mr BannOn, and the Northern
Territory Chief Ministcr, Mr Everingham, on the-proposed
Alice Springs-Darwin railway link.
In particular, Mr Hawko discussed with Mr Bannon and
Mr Everingham the Federal Government's consideration of the
defence implications of the proposed rail link.
Hle advised them that the Minister for Defence, Mr Scholes, had
recommended thatt
" A decision now to divert defence expenditure from
projects having priority in terms of endorsed planning
critcria to the proposed infrastructurework would,
other factors remaining constant, reduce the level of
defence preparedness we could otherwise achieve".
Mr Hawke told Mr Bannon and Mr Everingham that the Government
had accepted the findflings of the Hill Report on Transport Services
in the Northern Territory.
A central recommendation of the report was that: " Evon by
adopting an optimistic view of future growth in the Northern
Territory, the Inquiry found that investment in the railway
between Alice Springs and Darwin cannot be justified and
would constitute a ma-ijor misallocation of the nation's
resources". Mr Hawke also advised Mr Bannon and Mr Everingham that the Bureau
of Transport Economics had endorsed the appropriateness of the
methodology used in the Hfill Report.
Mr Bannon indicated that in view o-f Ele Fe-eral Government's
decision South Australia would noU, be approaching the
Commonwealth on alternative, compensatory projects
including upgrading of the Stuart Highway.
In view of Mr Everingham's earlier repudiation of the necessity
of upgrading the Stuart Highway,--th_-Norhern Territory
Government is now free, following the joint feasibility study
announced last July with Queensland, to take up with the
Queensland Premier construction of the railway line to link
Mt Isa with Darwin and Alice Springs.

Transcript 6344