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Thursday, 9 March 1972
Page: 685

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) (12:10 PM) - I listened very carefully to the speech made by Senator Douglas McClelland. I am aware that there is no depot at Macksville. I point out to the honourable senator that the headquarters of A Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment, is at present operating from rented buildings located at the showground and the training of the men is carried out in the showground area. Whilst I was listening to the speech made by the honourable senator I thought to myself that no doubt there would have been a number of contractors who would have applied for the contract to build the depot. I asked myself whether these, contractors would not already have had their men working on some other jobs. I also considered whether these people who are unemployed would be capable of working on a building site. If they are not capable of doing this work, would the Australian Labor Party place them on a building site to carry out specialised work? I do not think that the honourable senator has gone into this question fully enough. In the answer supplied by the Minister for the Army (Mr Katter) and which the honourable senator read the Minister made the point that the existence of higher priority items prevented the construction of the depot. I think that the Army is the best judge of priority needs.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - And also because of financial restrictions.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Yes. I am sure that the honourable senator would be one of the first to get to their feet in this House if another job being undertaken in New South Wales for the Army had been cancelled to give this particular job priority; he would have risen in the Senate and advanced the cause for the area in which the job had been cancelled. However, I will draw the attention of the Minister to what the honourable senator has said.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 12.12 a.m. (Friday) till 3 p.m., Tuesday, 21 March 1972.

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