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Friday, 26 May 1939

Mr James s asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   With regard to the establishment of a seaplane base at Rathmines, Lake Macquarie, is it a fact that there are unlimited anchorages for any number of naval and other vessels (irrespective of tonnage) in this vast expanse of water?

2.   Is it a fact that, in order to allow vessels of more than 300 tons register to reach these anchorages and the proposed seaplane base at Rathmines, it willbe necessary to reinforce a mile of the channel and sandy foreshore connecting the lake with the sea, thus preventing the entrance at Swansea from being silted up from time to time by erosion?

3.   If so, will he immediately take steps to reinforce this channel, and thereby bring about more economic and efficient co-ordination in defence between the proposed seaplane base and the Royal Australian Navy?

Mr Street - The depth of water in the entrance channel to Lake Macquarie does not admit of the passage of naval vessels. No action is proposed by the

Defence Department to provide such access, as the seaplane base to be established there will be sufficiently close to the naval base at Sydney to ensure efficient co-operation between the naval and air forces.

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