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Wednesday, 4 November 1992
Page: 2575

Mr PROSSER (4.24 p.m.) —Regarding the implementation of the program and a centralised strategy for warehousing and storage and distribution, on a previous occasion in this House I have given my support and that of the coalition for such rationalisation. As I mentioned previously, we need adequate and proper storage facilities for what has become very high-tech equipment both for our Air Force and the other Services. However, the motion before us deals mainly with the Air Force. A central part of the new strategy is to provide such accommodation for the services and for their warehousing and component facilities.

  One area that I am concerned about relates to older buildings that have asbestos lining or cladding on them. I am unhappy with the recommendation on the monitoring of airborne pollutants for asbestos fibre. I would have preferred the Government to have set down a program to replace this cladding so that the real risk of asbestos fibre and the resultant asbestosis was removed not only from defence personnel but also from other people in the locality. I am unhappy about that aspect of the recommendations. I would prefer an ongoing program to be put in place to replace the asbestos cladding.

  Regarding surplus property, I think it is entirely appropriate that councils should cooperate with the Services to bring about appropriate planning so that a reasonable price can be gleaned from land and that its use is compatible with the surrounding properties and residences. We should gain a sensible return for the Services, whether the land is used for medium, high density or detached housing. I hope that the relevant councils and planning authorities involved in those processes will cooperate to the fullest. Other than for making those comments, we support the motion.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.