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Friday, 23 November 1979
Page: 3007

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 14 November 1979:

What action is proposed to make available a helicopter service in the Northern Territory to assist in road accidents, search and rescue operations, detection of drug smuggling and coastal surveillance, etc in view of representations from the Northern Territory Country Liberal Party.

Senator Carrick - The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The diversion of Defence Force assets to establish a helicopter service dedicated to civilian needs, whether in Darwin or elsewhere, would not be consistent with Government policy. There is currently no military requirement to locate a helicopter unit in Darwin, and 1 am advised that national priorities for civil coastal surveillance, which are met by a combination of civil and military resources, have not indicated a need for military helicopters in Darwin at this time.

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