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Wednesday, 5 September 1984
Page: 502

Senator FOREMAN —In accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act, I present the report relating to the construction of a submarine warfare systems centre, HMAS Watson, South Head, New South Wales.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Senator FOREMAN —by leave-The submarine warfare systems centre performs an important role in support of the Royal Australian Navy submarine force. Besides training submarine personnel in the use of sophisticated submarine weapons systems, the centre is also involved in the development of submarine tactics and combat system software. The centre has been located at South Head in Sydney harbour since 1980. It has operated from two separate buildings which have demonstrated to be unable to accommodate adequately both staff and equipment. The proposal endorsed by the Committee is to construct a purpose-designed facility to consolidate the functions of the centre. The design, as well as fulfilling naval requirements, has the added benefit of enhancing the Sydney harbour skyline. It is a low profile building which will replace a visually prominent building.

As part of our inquiry we inspected HMAS Orion, one of the Navy's Oberon-class submarines. I pay tribute to the personnel of the RAN Submarine Squadron. Their living and working accommodation is extremely cramped, but it appeared to the Committee that the personnel involved bear these difficulties in a manner which is indicative of their professional dedication.