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Tuesday, 29 October 1974
Page: 2027


Senator McINTOSH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Defence been drawn to an article in a Western Australian newspaper which stated that Derby airport will be upgraded to allow full operational use by the Royal Australian Air Force? If this is a fact, will he inform the Senate what steps have been taken to date?


Senator BISHOP - There has been some speculation in the Western Australian Press about what might happen if the Minister for Defence, Mr Barnard, decides to seek a location in the Yampi Peninsula for holding joint training exercises. The Minister has inspected the area. I had the pleasure of going with him when I was Minister assisting the Minister for Defence. He is on record as saying that the area seems to be a suitable one for such exercises. As a result of that, a joint defence services working group has been set up to examine the position. That group will be visiting the area early in November. An examination has been made of the Derby airport and also of the airport at Broome. Those inspections and examinations have caused a good deal of speculation about what sort of operational requirements and what sort of upgrading will be necessary. Until the report of that working group is given to the Minister I do not think I can add anything fresh to what I have said already. However, I will ask the Minister for Defence whether he has any information additional to that which I have now supplied to the Senate.







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