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NEW STATE WORKS.
BRIGHT OUTLOOK FOR THE
"?TTNISTER AT NEWCASTLE
I Another stop in Newcastle's rapid indus-
trial progress was mado on Saturday, when Mr. Griffith, Minister for Works, laid the foundation-Btono of the now Government workshops at Walsh Island. A few minutes later Mrs. Griffith and Mi3s Flowers ham- mered the first rivet into the keel of the new ferry for vjehiclo traffic betwoon New- castle and Stockton. In tho afternoon Mr. J. S. T. M'Gowcn and Mr. Flowers, M.L.C., VIco Prosldent of the Executive Council, laid the foundation stones of tho new hospital at New-
Tho day waB a red-letter day for Newcastle. Many prominent citizens and heads of public departments and private companies, as well as members of Parliament and visitors from Sydney, wore present to witness the ceremo- nies. The party was conducted over the is- land by Mr. A. E. Cutler, englneer-in-chargo. Much work has already been done on thq1 is-
land, which consists of reclaimed land. Be- tween 200 and 300 workmen aro engaged there. Great interest was taken in the hydraulic drills which were boring through large steel girders, and also in the gilders, which had oither been placed In position, or were about to be fixed, for the foundations of a large en- gineering works. Tho island will, no doubt, in a few years' time be the centro of a busy port- Opposite, on the western side, are the now steel works of tho Broken Hill Proprie- tary Co.
Mr. Griffith declared the foundation-stone well and truly laid. Tho works, he said, were in the near future going to bo the most up-to date engineering shops In the Commonwealth.
Mrs. Grliilth and Miss Flowers each ham- mered a red-holt bolt, which had been placed in position by the workmon, into tho keel' of the now Stockton feiry, and, amid loud' choorB, declared the rivets well and truly, driven. An adjournmont was then mndo to a large shed, where refreshments woro served.
GOVERNMENT PIPE FOUNDRY.
In responding to the toast of tho health of the Minister for Works, Mr. Griffith said that ho had always strongly deprecated tho old centralisation tactics of former Governments. The wisor policy was to distribute industries throughout tho State. Ho was spending a groat deal of monoy in developing Kembla for the southern coal trade, and ho intended to spend much for Coil's Harbour and Newcastle to dovolop tho North Coast railway and tho Dorrigo plateau. Ho was doing something to remove somo of tho industries from the capital and bring them to Newcastle. Tho now worlcs ho had undertaken were tho Gov- ernment workshops, a dock- (applauso)-and a pipo foundry to provide tho pipes required
by the Government.
Recently, continued the speaker, ho diad boen compelled to givo ii contract for £500,000 for" pipes, which he know from investigations if tho proposed foundry had boon in opera- tion could havo been manufactured at n sav- ing of £100,000. Tho pipe workB would bo commenced simultaneously with tho engineer- ing works, and for quite a comparatively small sum. The surplus would romain in tho Troa Bury, and the work would bo as economically and as well dono as work for any contractor.
Mr. Griffith explained how it carno about that tho works on Walsh Island had boon started. Whon the contract to supply the warships had been In operation for some time he found that thero' waB a certain clashing botween the State and Commonwealth depart- ments. After two or thieo conferences with tho Minister for Defence" it was arranged to sell tho works to tho Commonwealth. Tho agreement had been drawn up, and tho Com- monwealth agreed to take over the plant and works for £800,000, and to pay £67,000 In cash for tho work which had already boen done to tho warships by tho State Government. That £67,000 was the money with which ho had to establish the works at Walsh Island.
OTHER IMPERIAL WORKS.
Ho hnd heard a fow weeks ago that nego- tiations wero passing between the Common- wealth and the mother country with regard to other Imperial property. Ho had investi- gations made, and found that tho dedication of tho land occupied by those works was made to the Imperial Government on tho con- dition of Sydney being tho centre of the Imperial fleet The Imperial station would bo removed on the first of next month, and, consequently, that agreement would lapso, and that property would then belong to the State. Negotiations had beon carried out in Mel- bourne botween Mr. Davis and the Common- wealth Department, and It had eventually de- cided to give tho State £600,000 for that pro- perty. The £800,000 for Cockatoo Island and the £600,000 for tho other Imperial property would not bo paid in cash, but would bo passed to tho account for properties trans- ferred to States, and the Commonwealth would pay tho State 3J per cent, per annum. That meant £49,000 from tho Commonwealth Gov- ernment to the State every year.
PROPOSED STATE-OWNED STEAMER.
Already there was work in hand for the en- gineering shops on Walsh Island. The Stock- ton punt would bo built there. An order had been received from the State Brickworks De- partment to build a steamer to carry lime- stone from the Manning to the workB at Botany. Ho intended constructing three dredges. (Applause.) For the next three years there would be plenty of now work. A good deal of rollanco would bo placed upon tho workmen, who would bo given tho best con- ditions, and he felt sure that full value would bo given for the money paid In wages. Ho desired to be in a position in regard to those works to be able truthfully to assure the tax papers that they woro getting 20s worth of work for every £1 spent.
Tho area now occupied by the old workshops at tho Dyke would be utilised by vessels bunkering coal, and coal-loading facilities would be-provided as soon as tho workshops wero removed. Ho wished to congratulate the men who had been working on the island. The preliminary operations hnd been completed, and tho worlcs would be erected very rapidly. It would not be long boforofthey woro in full swing, and making pipes for the Government
of tho State.
He had been taxed over the arrangements ho had made with the Broken Hill Proprietary Company to establish an iron Industry at Now costle. If bo had been able to got hold of the two or three millions sterling that were necessary to construct such an industry, the Proprietary Company would never have had a look in. All the monoy that the Stato Trea- surer could get for him was required for duplicating railways, opening up now coun- try, irrigation BChemoB, and other works.
The Mayor of Newcastlo (Alderman H. M. Shedden), who presided, Bald that they felt a great favour had boon bestowed upon New- castle by the Government's action in starting
Mr. W. C. Grahame, M L.A. for Wickham, proposed the health of the Minister, and in doing so said that he believed that the Minis- ter was doing the right thing In handing over the dockyards to the Commonwealth at a fair valuation, bo that they should at all tlmoB establish in Now South Wales the wholo of the Federal works. Newcastlo had gained the worlcs to bo erected on WalBh Island by that movo. In the near future the works would employ something Uko 2000 men.
Mr. A. R. Gardiner, State member for New- castle, said that before the present Govern- ment came Into powor they went from end to ond of this State preaching tho great policy of decentralisation. That policy had been given effect to In what had been taking placo on Walsh Island. Thero was a possibility that tho' Government works, after Cockatoo Island had boon taken over by the Common- wealth, being removed to some other place in Sydney Harbour, hut Mr. Griffith said that thero was a moro sultable-sito at Newcastlo.
Mr. J Estoll, member for Waratah, believed that the aspect of Newcastlo had been ma- terially changed since tho opening up of mines in the Maitland district. They had to look for something else to keep Newcastle going, and the placo was becoming a great Industrial contre. ** .,,_,_,
Mr H C. Langwill, president of tho Chamber of Commerce, said that It soemed! to him whon ho was watching tho ceremony that day_that Mr. Griffith was doing moro than laying tho foundation-stone of the engineering works, and Mrs. Griffith and Miss Flowers moro than lay- ing- the keel of tho ferry. It would really lead to Newcastle's prosperity and industrial pro ^Sr'w Brown, member for Duiham, and tho Mayors of tho municipalities of tho district,
oIbo supported the toBst.