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Tuesday, 6 December 1960

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - I do recall the discussions that I have had with the honorable member for Lyne, and other honorable members who represent electorates in the Newcastle area, over the Morna Point bombing range. It is absolutely essential for an operational establishment such as the R.A.A.F. base at Williamtown to have a bombing range near by. This area of shifting sandhills at the northern end of the Stockton Bight has been in use as a bombing range since early in World War II. Acknowledging that it is undesirable that such activities should continue in an area in which population is growing and on which people are encroaching, my department is seeking a more suitable location. Some areas have been surveyed and are being examined. I must emphasize to the honorable member, though, that for the

Royal Australian Air Force to cease using this area as a bombing range will not remove the very real dangers that exist for people encroaching on the land, because inevitably unexploded bombs, rockets and shells are left behind on these ranges. What can be done to minimize this danger is being examined by my department, but I urge everybody interested in the area to keep very strongly in mind the danger of going into it.

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