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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3085

Question No. 468

Senator Mason asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 2 November 1983:

Did a previous Minister for Defence, Sir Allen Fairhall, say to the Press on 23 April 1969 that the station at North West Cape was a target, if so, is this view also held by the present Government; if not, why not.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The transcript of a Press briefing given on 23 April 1969 by the then Minister for Defence, Sir Allen Fairhall, shows that Sir Allen's remarks about the possibility that North West Cape and other installations in Australia might be targets were confined to circumstances of global nuclear war.

These remarks are not inconsistent with the present Government's view that in the unlikely event of global nuclear war, the joint defence facilities in Australia could be subject to attack.