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Tuesday, 5 November 1985
Page: 1519

Senator HAMER —My question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, refers to the recent tragic accident on HMAS Stalwart in which two sailors lost their lives. Did the Minister see the statement by the captain of the ship that, after a major overhaul in a dockyard, equipment problems were normal and expected? Does the Government accept this attitude? Why should naval sailors have to go to sea in unsafe ships? Why should they have to complete and redo repair work that was supposed to have been done by civilian dockyard workers who, incidentally, are paid much more than they are? What is the Government doing about the level of quality control in naval dockyards?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I have a brief on the circumstances of the particular accident. I am not sure whether it specifically addresses the matters raised by Senator Hamer. Accordingly, I will take his question on notice and give him a reply as soon as possible.