[Letterhead in black ink, with Australian Coat of Arms, and the text ‘PRIME MINISTER’, ‘CANBERRA’.]
Dear Mr Wilson,
I refer to your letter of 23 February 1971 [crossed out, corrected to ‘1972’] about Lake Pedder in Tasmania.
Under the Tasmanian Agreement (Hydro-Electric Power Development) Act 1968, the Commonwealth is [crossed out, corrected to ‘has been’] providing Tasmania with bridging finance, subject to an overall limit of $47 million, for a five year programme of accelerated electric power development, including the commencement of the development of the Gordon River area. Assistance is [crossed out, corrected to ‘has been made’] available under the Act only to the extent that funds from the usual sources are inadequate to finance the Hydro-Electric Commission’s programme of development during the five year period commencing 1 July 1967 [crossed out from ‘commencing’, corrected to ‘ending 30 June 1972’].
The decision to proceed with the Gordon River development was made by the Tasmanian Parliament and it was on the State’s initiative that the Commonwealth agreed to provide financial assistance in the form which I have mentioned.
While the fund available under the Act can [crossed out, corrected to ‘could’] only be used for the projects contained in the programme, including the first stage of the Gordon River development, I have been advised that the fact of Commonwealth financial assistance does [crossed out, corrected to ‘did’] not impose any obligation on the State to proceed with that development regardless of other considerations.
Under these circumstances, as the decision to proceed with the development is within the responsibility of the State of Tasmania, it would not be [crossed out, corrected to ‘have been’] appropriate for me to intervene.
[Blank space for signature]
[Addressed to:] Mr. A. B. Wilson,
MOUNT MACEDON. [underlined] VIC. 3441