MINISTER’S ANNUAL STATEMENT. A THREE-MILLION LOAN. In presenting the Public Works .Statement to Parliament hist night, the Minister (Hon. W. Fraser) began by observing : “In on© respect at least the Statement which I_ have the honor to submit to the House this evening is unique, in that it is the first time in th© history of th© Dominion that a Public Works Statement has been delivered during th© currency of a war involving nearly all the Great Powers of Europe. My colleague the Minister oi Finance announced in his Budget that it was proposed to provide Jargely-incleascd ways and means for public ~ works purposes' this year, but that statement «<w penned prior to the onthieak of hostilities, and when the money market was favorable. The events that have happened since have rendered it doubtful whether money can now he borrowed on advantageous terms, and on the satisfactory determination of that question must, of course, depend the carrying out qf any extensive public works proposals. The Statement and Estimates submitted to th© House this evening have been prepared on the assumption that the requisite funds, will be procurable when needed ; but if, unfortunately, that proves to tie erroneous, then, of course, the programme will necessarily have to be curtailed, so as to keep our oxp-enditute within our means.” The expenditure t£2,949,992) for 191.3-14 was the largest of any single year for over 50 years. It is proposed to raise, a new loan of £3,000,000 during the current year. The votes for railway construction during this period are. enumerated elsewhere. East year’s appropriations for roads, etc., totalled £785,000. For 1914-15 provision was asked for £1.005,000.
For public buildings an appropriation of £710,756 is proposed. The principal item (£80,000) is for the continuation of tlie work at the new Parliamentary Buildings. Wellington. Provision, inter alia, is made for magazine (£2,500) and Public Works stores (£3,000) at Dunedin. New votes for police stations are ; Roslyn, >St. Clair, St. Hilda, and Woodhaugh, £1,500 being asked in each instance. A vote of £30,000 Is provided on account of the chief post office at Dunedin. l<ast rear £5,000 was voted for this work, hut not a -ingle shilling was expended. In connection with school buildings, Die Minister states that an extension to the Medical School buildings at Otago University is being erected, and a grant towards the cost has been mad©. At the Special ■schoil Otekaike, (ho buildings for which pie pat at u sis have twen mad© must h© put in hand, end this will require considerable cxp°nditure. Tinier (he beading ' Irrigation w© are told : "At th© Otekaike Settlement fair progress lias been mad© with the construction under contract of the six miles of water nice on the eastern side of the river, commenced last year, and the wotk is approaching completion. Th© water ehrxdd be available for the settlers during the coming summer. Up to the present fell tit©' has not been made of the water which has already been brought to tbe holdings on tlie western side of the Dtekaik© River. Th© important, scheme to irrigate a large area, of fertile land in the Ida Valley. Central Otago, wan advanced a stage by the completion of about half the concrete work on the Manorburn dam before last winter sot in. Excavation for the diverting weir at Moa- Creek was finished, nod .-onerct© work at this point and at the Poolhnru weir will he canned on vigorously during (lie summer months. The const imotion of the main race, known as Pluck's No. 3, was started from the upper end at Moa Creek, and during the vear has been carried, by flume and rock cuttina. over nearly 10 miles <>l its couisn. I he German Hill race, on the other side of th© vfdlcv. Mas been partly constructed for n 'eugtli of nearly three miles. The widening of the old Bonanza race was con tinned when weather conditions would permit. The completion of the Manorburn dam. .Moa Creek, and Poolhurn weirs, (liteo main tace-, and some of the distributing rives during the current year will curry the scheme appreciably nearer completion. The scheme designed t© irrigate several suitable area.-, of Government land between Alexandra and Clyde, at present not very productive, by moans of water taken from the Manuhen'kia River has been advanced a -tage. A tender has been accepted for the construction of the first section of the water nice in the Manttlicrikia Gorge, and tenders for further sections have been received. A supplementary scheme to serve, a portion of the Gailowuv Flat from the above-mentioned race at. . CbaUo Creek has been in vest!-
gated, and hue lurnc-d out very well, and its construction will be commenced in <lu© course. The ©xpembinr© out of last year's vote during th© financial year was £53.602. and for the current year a vote of £40,000 is proposed.”
Th© principal ex pend i turn in connection with tourist -md health resorts last year was for the erection ami furnishing of Die new hostel at the Hermitage, Mount Cook. It is intended to re-crcct the Hanmo.r Springs Sanatorium, recently destroyed by fir©, and to increase the accommodation at Die AVaitomo Daves Hostel, which has at time? been greatly overcrowded. Building? are being elected or adapted to accommodate the new automatic telephone system. The proposed vote for the current year for telegraph extension amounts, to £410,000, mad© up as undci : Automatic instaTiDon, £61.200; material (telephone and telegraph), £260,000; new telephone exchange- eounec irons. £70,000 ; erection of new telegraph and telephone line©, £IB,BOO
Lust vear’fi expenditure lor workers’ dwellings amounted to £41.74 1. The Minister say? tin© demand for dwellings ip increasing, and in order to nice! th© requirements an authorisation of £IOO,OOO is proposed *or the acquisition of land, load formation, and erection of dwellings. Provision i? made during the current financial y©ar for the erection of an automatic light ou Flat Rock (In ILuiraki Gulf) ; of a fog ?i.:nal ou Stephen Itdand ; am! for protective works at Hokitika (owing to Hi© inroads mad© by D)© sea). Finally th© MinisTr says : "The programme outlined in th© Statement and provided for in tin© Estimates ip a- fairly extensive on©, and gives promise of a l.usv veil 1 . v” the (x|K'iidituie proposed is.' however, absolutely necessary, and more, could b© spent t" advantage; but sufficient work is I© he undertaken to fully occupy all the labor that is likely to lie available, and to propose to nndeitake more than this would only lead ns irto difficulty.”
The Public Works debate will probably be taken in the House on Tuesday.
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PUBLIC WORKS, Evening Star, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914
PUBLIC WORKS Evening Star, Issue 15629, 21 October 1914
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