Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 31 October 1974
Page: 2189

Senator SCOTT (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Does the Minister representing the Minister for Defence recall informing the Senate in April last year of the progress made by teams from the Department of Defence and the Department of Air engaged in evaluating the Mirage aircraft replacement scheme? Did he say in May 1973 in reply to a question in the Senate that the Government was anxious to get a recommendation soon? Can the Minister now say, 19 months later, when an announcement of the Government's decision on a replacement aircraft can be expected.

Senator BISHOP - The honourable senator will know that since the Minister for Defence made that statement and I repeated it in the Senate the Government has considered what percentage of expenditure should be placed for defence needs. We decided that there ought to be a new priority when we came to government and that we should spend more money on pay and pensions for the Services, re-engagement bonuses and so on. Because of that policy some of the options which the Government had for new equipment were cut back. Everybody knows that at the present time pay, re-engagement bonuses and Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Fund conditions are really no longer the issues they were when we came into government because hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent in those areas. As to the re-equipment program the Government decided that a replacement for the Mirage aircraft should be put off. It has now been decided that the replacement will not be purchased earlier than 1978.

Suggest corrections