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Tuesday, 24 February 1987
Page: 496


Senator GARETH EVANS —Senator Sir John Carrick asked me, on 18 February, about the interpretation of the photograph purporting to be of the Cam Ranh Bay naval installation and followed it up with a further enthusiastic request for such information during a debate yesterday. The Prime Minister dealt with this matter in an answer to a question in the House of Representatives today and I respond in similar terms. The Government does not intend to discuss in detail, for reasons that I hope are well understood, Australia's assessment of intelligence material. The Government does accept that Cam Ranh Bay has been developed by the Soviet Union since 1975 as a significant air and naval base. The forthcoming White Paper on defence, when it is published, will fully address the issues which the development of Cam Ranh Bay poses for Australia's strategic defence planning.