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Wednesday, 8 May 1957

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Air, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that Royal Australian Air Force equipment and personnel have been made available in the Northern Territory to carry out work for a private firm operating under the name of Territory Rice Limited?

2.   If so, will he furnish details of the arrangements between the Royal Australian Air Force and Territory Rice Limited?

Mr Osborne - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: -

No. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force is constructing a new air strip at Darwin. At the request of Territory Rice Limited, a company engaged in a large-scale pilot project for growing rice in the Darwin area, the construction unit, with the approval of the Department of Air, hired the services of part of its earth-moving equipment to Territory Rice Limited to assist in the construction of a dam, a light plane airfield, levee banks and some smaller works. The equipment hired was not needed at that time for the construction of the Darwin airstrip. In fixing the hiring fees charged, regard was had to the scale of charges of the Department of Works for the hire of equipment to private contractors.

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