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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - I am very well aware of the state of the housing accommodation available for Royal Australian Air Force personnel at the Darwin base. I became aware of this problem - and it is a problem - on my first inspection of the base over two years ago. There is a shortage of houses which has persisted since war-time. A number of families - I think some 40 families - are housed in emergency quarters of a sub-standard character. Urgent steps have been taken by my department to overcome this difficulty. Thirty houses of a very good standard for tropical conditions were built at the base in the last financial year. Thirty are being built this year and fifteen are intended for next financial year. The airfield construction squadron which is still working at Darwin occupies a number of houses, and these will be released for other personnel when the squadron moves out. I am very confident that the whole problem will have been solved within about eighteen months. In the meantime, I can only ask those families who are inadequately housed to be patient in the certain knowledge that their problems are being progressively solved.

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