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From its foundation, the MBA has been a strong advocate for private enterprise. Its opposition to the day labour policies of government had been, in 1901, the subject of an MBA press campaign which was supported by the architects, master plumbers and master painters associations.In attempting to answer MBA claims of the economic superiority of contract building, the NSW government supported a proposal to test day labour versus contract building by erecting two pavilions for the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.Conditions imposed on the supporters of contract building were so inequitable that the test never took place, and the MBA expressed its regret to the Minister for Public Works that his department was unwilling to amend the unfair conditions it imposed. The communication continued: “This association considers these conditions to be so one-sided as to completely destroy whatever usefulness this work might have had as a comparison of the relative merits of the contract versus day-labour systems; and the circumstances and the conditions under which tenders are called are so exceptional as to preclude any member of this association from tendering for the work.”Despite this setback, the MBA continued to press for an enquiry. After a change of government, about 1905 or 1906, the MBA’s annual report, dated 15 January 1907, recorded that the state government has “reformed the system made so much use of by (its) predecessor.” Steps were taken at that time to cease day-labour on public works at Central Railway Station, the Cataract Dam and other locations where estimates and cost had been greatly exceeded, and public tenders were called for their completion.