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Thursday, 30 September 1971
Page: 1727

Mr TURNBULL (MALLEE, VICTORIA) - I address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Air in this House.' I have been informed that the Royal Australian Air Force is seeking an alternative site to Point Cook as a training centre in Victoria, and that such a training centre would need to be located where climatic conditions assure an absolute minimum of lost flying time due to weather conditions. I ask: If a change is to be made, will Mildura be given due consideration? The Minister will know that it was a . war time Air Force centre, that many of the amenities, necessary to aviation are already established and that the climatic conditions are ideal for the purpose.

Mr HOLTEN (INDI, VICTORIA) (Minister for Repatriation) - As many honourable members in the House are. well aware, the station at Point Cook has had a long and historic existence as a base for the Royal Australian Air Force. Many members who served there during the war would be inclined to agree with some of the comments by the honourable member for Mallee about climatic conditions at certain times of the year, and would certainly agree that Mildura would have a distinct climatic advantage over Point Cook at those times of the year. Honourable members also would be aware - some personally - that an operational training unit was stationed at Mildura during the Second World War and as such that city made a very valuable contribution to Australia's war effort. I have no detailed information on the matter raised by the honourable member for Mallee as to whether there is to be any move from Point Cook, but I will make .sure his interest and his proposal are made known to my colleague in another place.

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