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Thursday, 25 November 1999
Page: 12784

Mr Horne asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 21 October 1999:

(1) Is he able to provide information on the role of Defence Properties in (a) the sale of a fully refurbished three bedroom cottage at Stockton Rifle Range for less than $6000 and (b) the supervision and protection of three buildings at Stockton Rifle Range which have been systematically vandalised and burnt to the ground by arsonists.

(2) Will the buildings referred to in part (1)(b) be replaced; if so, when.

Mr Moore (Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The Defence Estate Organisation, through a local real estate agent, has been endeavouring to sell the Stockton Rifle Range cottage for $1,000, which was its reserve price when it was auctioned on 29 May 1999. In the event that a sale is not achieved, Defence will consider removal or demolition of the cottage. The cottage had not been refurbished.

(b) Following the closure of the Stockton Rifle Range and the withdrawal of the Defence employed range warden from the range, the Defence Estate Organisation engaged a commercial security firm to undertake periodic security patrols of the property. However, because of its location and the nature of the property, it has been prone to vandalism.

(2) No, because Defence is to dispose of the property. Due to the vandalism problem, the Defence Estate Organisation intends to demolish the five remaining Defence-owned timber buildings, all of which have been assessed as being of low or no heritage significance.