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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1584

(Question No. 57)


Senator Childs asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 28 February 1985:

Who made the decision to advise Australians to prepare shelters and other necessities for survival in the event of nuclear war as outlined on page 20, section 3.5, of the Defence Department Booklet 'Nuclear Weapons-Their Effects and Your Protection.'


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

The booklet ''Nuclear Weapons-Their Effects and Your Protection'' was produced by the Natural Disasters Organisation at the request of State and Territory Emergency Services. The Commonwealth Department of Health and the Department of Defence co-operated in the production. The booklet consolidates and updates information already available to the public in several other publications.

It should be noted that page 20 section 3.5. of the booklet does not advise Australians to ''prepare shelters or other necessities.'' Such actions are listed along with other measures which could be taken should warnings of nuclear attack occur.

The Senator is advised that the Minister for Defence has asked his Department to re-examine the booklet with other appropriate Departments, with a view to taking account of concerns such as expressed by the Senator during the adjournment debate on 27 February. It is expected that a revised booklet will be completed this year. This will be examined by the Minister for Defence prior to publication.