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Lithgow Mercury 29th December 1899

BITS FROM HANSARD

THE JENOLAN CAVES

Mr Willis : He trusted the Premier would not in the future submit such tinpot items as the furnishing of the Jenolan Caves as was done by the late Government.

Mr Cook : The hon. Member is barking up the wrong tree!

Mr Willis said the hon. Member was evidently backward in his education in these matters. It appeared to him that the sooner we handed the caves over to a private company the better, because they cost more than they were worth.

Mr Cook said that every year hon. Members objected to a vote for the Jenolan Caves house. They were probably not aware of the fact that the cave house gave a return of 5 per cent upon every penny of money expended there. The State had no better asset than these Jenolan caves at the present time. There was a stone building and the amount paid in the shape of rent gave the return he had mentioned. He undertook to say that the caves were also worth 10,000 pounds a year to the railways; yet hon. Members objected to vote a small sum of money to complete the residential portion and to provide adequate accommodation for travelers - putting the caves in fact, upon the footing of a first class remunerative asset.