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Thursday, 17 November 1983
Page: 2890


Mr FIFE(4.24) —I confirm the advice given to the House by the Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr Hurford) that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works gave consideration to this matter this morning. Indeed , it had before it a letter and a submission from the Minister for Defence (Mr Scholes). The Committee is happy for this project to proceed without it considering it in detail. I pointed out this morning-I believe the Chairman of the Committee will point out this matter in correspondence to the Minister today -that we regret that it is necessary for this matter to proceed without due consideration being given to it.

The Committee accepts without qualification the need for the project to proceed as a matter of urgency and understands that if approval is not given for this expediency motion the capacity of the Royal Australian Navy will suffer in about 1990. The Committee also understands that some fairly severe cost penalties could be involved. For those reasons the Committee gave its approval and acquiesces in the motion that the Minister has before the House, but it expresses the hope that, whilst there will be occasions when the Committee will need to be bypassed because of the urgency of a project, the Government will not abuse this procedure.