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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 975

(Question No. 4671)

Mr Milton asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 23 September 1986:

Further to the answer to parts (5) and (6) of question No. 4131 (Hansard, 16 September 1986, page 654) and in view of the Victorian Premier's recent statement that his Government will take no responsibility for port safety in the event of a nuclear accident, will he act immediately to ensure that nuclear powered and armed ships are diverted from Victorian ports: if not, what steps has he taken or will he take to ensure the health and safety of Victorians in the event of a nuclear accident in a Victorian port.

Mr Beazley —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government remains prepared to accept visits to all Australian states by allied nuclear powered warships, provided that the proposed visits would comply with the Government's general conditions of entry. Visits by nuclear weapon-capable warships are supported subject only to compliance with standard navigational safety requirements and berth availability. Apart from ports that are located in Commonwealth Government territory, arrangements for port safety in Australia are essentially the responsibility of the State Government concerned.