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Wednesday, 16 February 1977
Page: 103

Mr BEAZLEY (FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Defence: Is there a significant component in his defence budget of imported material for the 3 defence Services? If so, has the budget been increased to compensate for devaluation or have purchases abroad been cut as a consequence of devaluation?

Mr KILLEN - Yes. In general terms the effect of devaluation upon the defence appropriation was of the order of some $46m. I may observe, not in passing, that approximately 60 per cent of the total defence expenditure comes from Australian sources. Following the Government's decision regarding devaluation, the Department of Defence has-

Mr Hayden - Is that 60 per cent of all or of capital?

Mr KILLEN -Of total expenditure.

Mr Hayden - That is just about your wages and salaries bill.

Mr KILLEN -With great respect, if the honourable member for Oxley were to devote a little more attention to defence and a little less attention to budgetary matters we would all be better off. The honourable member for Fremantle may be reassured that the Government's decision regarding devaluation has been and still is being carefully considered by the Department of Defence. But I am not in a position to state as yet what all of the implications are.

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