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Wednesday, 16 February 1977
Page: 150

Mr HODGMAN (Denison) - I support the Bill. I seek your indulgence, Mr Deputy Speaker, to address a few remarks which are a little wide of the narrow issues contained in the Bill. As the honourable member for Kennedy (Mr Katter) has pointed out, the purpose of this Bill is to reaffirm the situation in the defence force compact of the Royal Australian Air Force and, in particular, the confusion which has occurred in the past by the use of the words ' Air Office' which will now be replaced by virtue of this legislation with the words 'Air Force Office '. The 'Defence Instructions (Air)' issued by the Chief of the Air Staff under the Defence Act will become 'Defence Instructions (Air Force)'. In introducing the Bill the Minister for Defence, (Mr Killen) in his own inimitable style said:

.   . I do not think it is the sort of Bill which will cause tumult throughout the country.

Nevertheless it was a Bm which he commended to honourable members. I believe it is an opportune time just to consider the situation in relation to the Air Force generally in view of the fact that this Bill does reaffirm a most important criterion in the structure of the RAAF. I suppose I could be pardoned if I made some general comment though, I add, not in a scathing or critical way on the situation of the RAAF insofar as it affects the State of Tasmania. I will not abuse any privilege which you extend to me, Mr Deputy Speaker, to allow me to address a few remarks m this regard because I do regard it as extremely important at this point in time- I note that the Minister for Defence is present in the chamber- to assess the situation of the RAAF and in particular in respect of the security and surveillance of the State of Tasmania.

Mr Scholes - I raise a point of order. This is a very limited measure. Whilst I can sympathise with the honourable member wanting to raise things, he will have adequate opportunity to do so on the adjournment debate. I do not believe that this debate can be extended to the limits to which the honourable member is now extending it. This is a very narrow measure.

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