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Tuesday, 9 May 2000
Page: 16109


Mr Horne asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 14 March 2000:

(1) Has an environmental impact study (EIS) ever been carried out on the Salt Ash Weapons Range; if so, can the study be made available to the community.

(2) If an EIS has not been carried out, why not, given that the area is subjected to many unnatural phenomena by being a weapons range.

(3) Has his Department ever been requested by a parliamentary standing committee to conduct and EIS for RAAF operations from RAAF Base Williamtown; if so, has it been undertaken.


Mr Moore (Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) An environmental impact study (EIS) was prepared, under the provisions of Commonwealth Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974, in May 1983 for the introduction of the F/A - 18 Hornet aircraft. As part of the formal assessment process, the draft EIS was submitted for public review and remains a public document. The EIS covers operations of the F/A - 18 Hornet aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown and the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range.

(2) Not applicable-see response to part (1).

(3) The department has been unable to find evidence that this is the case.