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Friday, 5 June 1970

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister representing the Minister for Air, upon notice:

Is the location of the 4 Mirage squadrons still determined by the same factors as his predecessor mentioned in his answer to me on 28th November 1968.

Mr Killen (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Navy) - The Minister for Air has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   At the time the previous question was asked, the Royal Australian Air Force was equipped with 3 Mirage squadrons, 2 based at Williamtown and 1 at Butterworth. As operational, technical and domestic Mirage facilities are centred at Williamtown and Butterworth they were at that time, and continue to be, the bases best suited for the location of Mirage squadrons.

(2)   The. Prime Minister announced on 25th February 1969, in his statement on the Australian military contribution in Malaysia/Singapore after the British withdrawal, the Government decision that 2 squadrons of Mirage aircraft would be located at Butterworth. The fourth Mirage squadron was located at Butterworth in accordance with this decision, and was a direct replacement for a Sabre squadron.

(3)   The fourth Mirage squadron could have been located at Williamtown but the' location of 3 squadrons there would place a heavier load on the resources of that base.

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