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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19213

Mr SNOWDON (1:56 PM) —Firstly, I acknowledge that the member for Solomon will want to make a contribution before question time, so my comments will be rather short. I thank the parliamentary secretary for bringing this notice on today so that we can get the works going in Katherine, at the Tindal Air Base, and at Robertson Barracks. These are very important works.

Mr Slipper —And on Christmas Island?

Mr SNOWDON —Yes. Christmas Island in particular is extremely important for my electorate. I commend the government for bringing this work forward. The business and employment opportunities that arise out of these works are extremely important, particularly to the community of Christmas Island at this particular time. They are also of vital importance to the community of Katherine, because the Air Force base at Tindal is very important—indeed central—to the Katherine economy. It is very important in the life of the Katherine community and indeed of the Northern Territory, as are Robertson Barracks. Since the movement of Defence facilities into Northern Australia, the Northern Australian community have welcomed them. They feel very comfortable having the defence community involved with the community. They see the benefits that it brings to Australia in terms of our defence posture and, importantly, they also see the benefits that the defence community brings to our community in Northern Australia. I commend the motion to the House.