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Thursday, 24 March 1927

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW (Queensland) (Minister for Defence) [2.35]. - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

This is a very short measure to amend section 124 of the Defence Act 1903-18, which deals with the particular matters that may be prescribed by regulation. At present there is no power to control the erection of buildings within certain areas in the proximity of forts, nor is there power to prohibit factories in the vicinity of forts from issuing smoke during or immediately before any military or air force practice so as to become a nuisance. It is, therefore, essential that these matters should be made the subject of regulations. Not only is it essential that the efficiency of the fortifications should not be affected by the proximity of buildings within the arc of fire ; but it is also desirable in the national interest that any industrial works should not be liable to attack and possible destruction. It is also essential that these buildings should not be the means of presenting a larger target to the enemy.

Senator Duncan - Has any trouble been experienced in that way, or is there any impending trouble ?

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - Yes : this is to prevent possible trouble.

Senator NEEDHAM(Western Aus of the measure is to provide by regulation that no factory or building shall be constructed within the arc of fire of any fort, and also to prevent the smoke nuisance during practice. It is hardly likely that buildings would be erected in the arc of fire ; but if there is no power at present to prevent the erection of buildings in such a situation it should be provided. I support the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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