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Wednesday, 5 December 1973

Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I understand that the firing programs from Woomera have been operating for 25 years and that during that time there has been a continuing liaison between the Department and the property owners in the area. It is customary for the firings to cease in the middle of December and not be resumed until 2 1 January of each year. The types of rockets which are prone to create fires are not used on fire ban days. When they are used it is customary for additional precautions to be taken. I understand that these are mainly the redirecting of the rockets into areas in which there is less possibility of a fire being caused. Additional fire fighting equipment and helicopters are also kept on standby. On the information available to me all reasonable precautions have been taken. As to the specific point that Senator Young raised concerning liaison with the property owners, it is my understanding that there has been such liaison over the years. I feel confident from my knowledge of the subject that this will continue.

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