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Tuesday, 28 April 1987
Page: 1877

Senator COONEY —I present the 263rd report, volume 2, of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

Senator COONEY —This report, volume 2 of the Committee's 263rd report, completes the Committee's inquiry into two aspects of defence equipment support. Volume 1 of report 263, tabled late last year, examined the supply of spares and ammunition. This volume presents the Committee's findings on the provision of technical documentation for equipment operators and maintenance personnel. It contains several recommendations, additional to the 29 recommendations of volume 1, related to the timeliness of supply of technical documentation, the adequacy of documentation, and the revision and updating of technical documentation. It also contains reports on a toxic gas accident on HMAS Stalwart, and Navy shipboard fire and gas control systems.

These documents, together with responses from the Department of Defence, have been included in the Committee's report because of public concern about accidents on HMAS Tobruk and HMAS Stalwart. The recommendations of four recent reports of the Committee, and the findings in this report, have been directed towards improving the operation and efficiency of the Department of Defence. The Committee hopes that one of the outcomes of this process will be the avoidance of any recurrence of accidents similar to those experienced on HMAS Tobruk and HMAS Stalwart. I commend the report to honourable senators.