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Wednesday, 19 November 1986
Page: 2523

Senator FOREMAN —In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act, I present the report relating to the development of HMAS Albatross, Nowra, New South Wales, stage 1.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Senator FOREMAN —by leave-HMAS Albatross is located approximately eight kilometres south west of Nowra, New South Wales. The base provides operational maintenance, logistic and administrative support for the aircraft, equipment and personnel of resident squadrons and Royal Australian Navy ships' helicopter flights when disembarked. The base also provides support for Royal Australian Air Force, Army and civilian aircraft operating in the area in support of the fleet or on other tasks.

A squadron of Seahawk helicopters is to be deployed at the base; the first Seahawk being delivered in March 1988. The proposal is for the provision of facilities to service and maintain the Seahawk helicopters, and for the development of new facilities and the upgrading of existing facilities for the effective and efficient operation of the base. The Committee on Public Accounts concludes that the works proposed will be adequate to support the development of the Seahawks and will also improve the overall efficiency of the base.

Attention is drawn in the report to possible future urban development and whether this may hinder the operations of the base. The Committee concludes that continuing discussions should take place between the Department of Defence and the Shoalhaven City Council to ensure that this will not occur.

Attention is also drawn to the possibility of a future cycleway from Nowra to the base. The Committee believes that there is merit in the Department of Defence having discussions with the Shoalhaven City Council and community groups on this matter.

Finally, the Committee has recommended that consultations should take place with relevant State and local government bodies prior to its consideration of a proposal. The Committee recommends construction of the work in this reference.