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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2888

(Question No. 1293)


Senator Vallentine asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 9 October 1991:

With reference to the Department of Defence Directory of Australian Industry Defence Capability (DRB29) for 1990:

  (1) Is Section 3—Products, sub-section 11, `Nuclear Ordnance', covering Nuclear Projectiles, Nuclear Rockets and Fusing and Firing Devices, Nuclear Ordnance, a valid directory description; if not, why is this entry in the directory.

  (2) Are the Extrusion Machine Co (Australia) Pty Ltd on page N91 and Applied Research of Australia Pty Ltd on page S5, involved in nuclear manufacture; if so, what do they produce.

  (3) Are any other companies, Australian or overseas owned, involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons components.

  (4) In the 1985 edition of the directory why does `Section 3—Products' begin with `10—Weapons' and then go straight to `12—Fire Control Equipment', what happened to sub-section 11 and to what did it refer.


Senator Robert Ray —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) No. DRB 29 has been published in its present format since 1985. It provides Australian businesses with an avenue for making their capabilities known to overseas manufacturers and suppliers of defence related products who are seeking Australian sub-contractors or component suppliers.

  As the majority of overseas manufacturers and suppliers are familiar with the NATO Products List, it was chosen as the most suitable means of reducing possible misunderstandings of an Australian company's capabilities and products. The listing contains sub-sections starting at `10—Weapons' through to `99—Miscellaneous'. Sub-section `11—Nuclear Ordnance' was deleted from the listing before the 1985 edition was prepared as it was not relevant to Australian industry.

  In 1989 an updated version of the mastercopy for the NATO Products List was received by the Department and this was used for the preparation of the questionnaires sent to industry for their input for the 1990 Directory. Due to an administrative oversight, sub-section `11 Nuclear Ordnance' was not deleted from the questionnaire or the index to the Directory.

  Consequently, the erroneous responses from the two companies were also not deleted. The companies have confirmed that their responses in relation to the Nuclear Ordnance sub-section were incorrect and they are not involved in the manufacture of components for Nuclear Ordnance.

  To prevent any similar occurrence in the future, sub-section 11 has been deleted from the master copy of the NATO Products List from which the questionnaire and the index are printed and all state offices have been advised to delete the sub-section from already printed questionnaires.

  (2) No.

  (3) No.

  (4) See (1) above.