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Wednesday, 22 August 1984
Page: 208

(Question No. 910)

Senator Chipp asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 29 May 1984:

(1) Has Australia had a bilateral co-operative agreement for the technology development of hypervelocity and electromagnetic guns and launchers for approximately the last three years.

(2) Is that agreement between the Australian Ministry of Defence and the United States Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

(3) Is that agreement in the process of being renewed; if so, does the government intend to renew that agreement.

(4) Has the purpose and nature of that agreement been considered by the Minister, Cabinet or a sub-committee of Cabinet in the process of renewing that agreement; if not, who had responsibility for the renewal of that agreement.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) At the outset, the honourable senator's attention is drawn to the answer given by the Minister for Defence in the House of Representatives in response to Mr Scott's question on Notice No. 1486.

Accordingly, the specific answer to the first part of the honourable senator's question is that Australia has, for approximately the last three years, had a co -operative research and development project arrangement with the United States Department of Defence on electromagnetic guns and launchers and pulsed power conditioning.

(2) That arrangement is between the Australian Department of Defence and the United States Department of Defence.

(3) and (4) The renewal of this co-operative research and development project arrangement is under consideration. The purpose and nature of this proposed new arrangement are essentially the same as those negotiated in 1980. The renewal negotiations have not yet progressed to a stage where Ministerial consideration is required.