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Tuesday, 26 November 1985
Page: 2232


Senator ZAKHAROV —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services. I understand that the Department of Defence will soon be vacating land at Portsea in Victoria which it has occupied since the middle of last century. Will the Minister inform the Senate of the Commonwealth's intentions in relation to this land?


Senator GIETZELT —It is the Commonwealth Government's intention to close the Officer Cadet School at Portsea, Victoria, early in 1986 and to have it relocated at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Agreement has been reached with the Victorian Government for the transfer to the Victorian Government of two large portions of land which will be surplus to the Commonwealth Government's requirements. That transfer will result in a major extension of the Cape Schanck State Park. It is also the intention of the Commonwealth to provide a $2m bicentennial grant for the development of the park, which it is hoped will result in a major tourist boost to the area. The transfer will give public access to Point Nepean and at the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. I understand that the Officer Cadet School building will remain with the Army for use by the Army's School of Health, and other areas will remain under Army control for firing range purposes.

The Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services, Mr Uren, has informed me that organised tours of historic buildings used by the Army will continue and that the historical significance and attractiveness of the Nepean Peninsula will be part of the future development of that area because of its long association with the Army, dating back, as Senator Zakharov has said, to the nineteenth century. The Minister places on public record the co-operation between the Commonwealth and the State which has resulted in the establishment of this new and important historical area.