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PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT.

The Public Werks Statement was laid on the table of the House last evenirg. The following is a summary : — The Statement set fo-th that the proposals of the Government m relation to public woikswere essentially moderate, merely defining the manner m whtch it was proposed that the expend : ture of the balance of the Loaa Fund (amounting at the end of M-rch last to £1,445,670) should be spread over si period o' about three years. Under the heid^ng ' ' Railways m course of construction and proposed " (including addi'.ions to opened lines), the following works were proposed: -Exension of Helensville, northwards, railway trom point at present reached, 44 miles from Auckland, for a farther distance of ten miles £79929 (£15.000 o^y to be voted for actual expendi tore this year) ; Grahamstown-Te Aroha line, drainage work necessary, £4^oo (£3s°° to De voted this year) ; Putarum-Rotorua line, extension oi ten miles, £40,350 (vote for expenditure this year £10,000) ; North Island Trunk Railway— After discussing at same length the arguments pro »nd con m reference to each of tfie two proposed Hues to connect Taranaki with, the main Trunk Railway, the Minister stated the views of the Government with respect to the further rate of progression of the works on the central rsmte, but they were of opinion that before any furtfeer work was done a large area of Native landi should be acqu'red. They proposed therefore that £100,000 should be set aside out of the loan for this purpose, the proceeds of the sale of this land, together with that already purchased, to be credited to the fund ; Woodville-Palmerston North line, completion of line £90,328 (£75,000) to be expended during the current year); Wellington- Woodvilfe line £12,500; Blenhdm-Awatere line £27,363 (£IO,OOO to be expended during the current year) ; Grey-mouth-Hokitika Lne, - Midland Railway Company to be asked if they will take over the line, complete and equip it and work it as part of their undertaking, the House was how asked m the event of these negotiations falling throogb to vote balance of Joan allocation, £26,178; Mount Somers line— On this railway the extens ; on to Springburn, four miles, which lias been for some time m hand by unemployed and otherwise, is now approaching completion and as the balance of the existing allocation m part three of the Loan Fußd is insufficient to to finish it, a further sum m aid to the extent of £1171 has been provided from part one. Toe total amount now required to be authorised is therefore the balance of allocotion m part three, £4,415, and £971 from part o-e, total £6386 ; pract cally the whole of which will be required for expenditure within the current year ; Otago Central Line, completion to Middlemarch £61,473 (£4°«<> :o to be expended during the current jear ; Catlins River fine £26,549 (£Bcoo to be expended during the current year) ; Edendale-Fortrose line, £8000 to be expended this year. On account of railw»ys m course of construction as a whole, with liabilities at the end of March, 1888, amounting to £261,577, the amount voted for expenditure during the year coding March last was £406, 900 : and of this ameunt £272,077 was expended within the year. As against this, with liab lities at the end of March last amounting to £207 483, Government proposed to ask for votes for the current year amounting to £316,745, leaving £€69,557 available for expenditure m succeeding years, Of these amounts £31,000 is for expenditure on the North Island Trunk Railway, leaving £352,810 still available for the same line, and £285,735 i< for expenditure en all the other railways provided for under pars one and two of the fund, leaving £316 747 still available for the same;

The total length of railways open for traffic on March 31 last was, m the North Is'and 652 miles, and m the South Island 11 08 miles, total 1770 miles. There were also at that date 164 miles of railway m course of coastruction, of which 72 were m the North Island and 92 m the South, The total expenditure oja railtrays, including cost of Provincial lines and purchase of district railways up to March 31 last, was £14.738,772, and the liabilities on March 31 were £207,484, making ia all £14 946,266. The amount voted for expenditure under the heading village settlements last year iras ;£26,030t and of this sum ,£10,770 was expended. For the current year Government ask for a vote for £19, 173. A detailed report on this subject will shortly be laid before the Bouse.

Under the' heading of '• Work for Unemployed," the amount expended last year was j634»6j1, mainly on road construction. For the current year, with liabilities amounting to jf 1525, Government ask for a vote for £800 0, to be devoted as far a? possible >o forming Country roads, the work to be done by small contracts. he balance of loan allocation for expenditure m future years is j£2OOD. For roads to open up lands for sale, the amount expended last year was For the present year, with liabilities amounting to j£25<434> Government ask for a vote for j£45*827. On account of roads of all classes, with liabilities at the end of March, 1 88?, amounting to £ II 9 J 2i, the amount voted for expenditure during the year ending March last was and of this amount ,£104,632 was expended within the year. For the current' year, with liabilities at the end of March last amounting to Government ask for a vote of .£145,127.

Reference was made to the subjects of immi•gration (on account of which £ioco was asked) • telegraph extension (£12,700) ; pubiic buildings (£48,651, leaving £31,170 for expenditure m succeeding years); lighthouses (£2930) j Rotorua hospital (£2350). The total expenditure on harbor defences up to March 31, 1889, has been m round numbers £442,000, of which £233,000 represents the cost of material of war obtained from England, and £209,000 the co-t of works m the colony. Of this latter lum about £32,000 has been paid for land, and {he ba'ance, £177,000, represents the cost of forts, batteries, submarine defences, steam launches, special reports, supei vision and all charges. Taking the Public Works Fund as a whole, therefore, these was available at March 31 last, the sum of £1,445,670, and as against this, with liabilities at the end of March amounting m all to £368,639, Government propose to expend during the present year the sum of £574,161, leaving £871,509 available for appropriation m succeeding years. As explained m tie last Public Works Statement, however, it is scarcely probable that the various amounts whicn were just alluded to as proposed to be expended will all come to be charged within the current year, so that the actual expenditure which will be brought to book will not probably exceed £445,000, thus leaving about £1,000,003 for expenditure m succeeding years. In conclusion the Minister took the opportunity of congratulating the House and the country on the improved prospects of the colony since the date of his Public Works Statement of las' year, and to express the hope and belief that if the proposals which he had made are given effect to, it will further develop our resources and enable us to take further advantage of the rise m prices which our produce has recently commanded.

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PUBLIC WORKS STATEMENT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2194, 8 August 1889

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