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Wednesday, 26 September 1973
Page: 1507

Mr DRURY (RYAN, QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. I ask him whether the Government has yet fully considered the establishment of an Omega navigational base in Australia and, if so, when the Parliament may expect an announcement on it. Is the

Prime Minister aware of a recent statement by the officer-in-charge of Omega operations that if Australia does not allow an Omega base on its soil such a decision would be detrimental to countries in this region but would not affect the United States of America, that the Omega system has no relevance to nuclear missile carrying submarines and that an Omega receiver could not be used to send messages to such submarines?

Mr WHITLAM - The question of the Omega installation in Australia was referred by the Government, as one of the 2 initial matters for inquiry, to the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence. I have noticed reports in the newspapers of evidence given by various witnesses to the Committee. I have, of course, as Foreign Minister seen some of the submissions which have been made to the Committee. I do not know - I have not inquired - when the Committee expects to make a report on this matter, but I believe that we all should allow the Committee to have proper time in which to investigate this matter. It is >a Committee which includes representatives of both sides of this House and of all parties in the Senate.

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