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Monday, 2 December 1985
Page: 2647

Senator VANSTONE —I refer the Minister representing the Minister for Defence to an article on the front page of last Saturday's Adelaide Advertiser, headed `Salisbury housing ``in danger'' '. In respect of the subject of that article, I ask whether the Minister for Defence has written to the South Australian Premier expressing concern over residential developments in the vicinity of the Edinburgh Air Force base? If so, when? Was it as far back as June this year? Secondly, did representatives of the Salisbury Council meet with officials of the Department of Defence in Canberra in September? Did the departmental representatives express the view that further development in the vicinity of Edinburgh Air Force base should not proceed? Thirdly, has the State Government responded to any communication from the Commonwealth on this matter? If so, what is the nature of this response? Lastly, will the Minister table correspondence between himself and the South Australian Premier on this matter?

Senator GARETH EVANS —That might be a hot issue so far as Senator Vanstone is concerned. It is not hot enough to get a mention in my hot issues brief from the Minister for De- fence. I will refer it accordingly to him and seek an answer at the earliest opportunity.

Senator VANSTONE —By way of supplementary question, I accept that the Minister does not consider this a hot enough issue to have in his hot issues file. Nonetheless, will the Minister give an undertaking to give the Senate an answer as soon as possible so as to avoid any allegations of a cover-up to protect the South Australian Premier from scrutiny prior to the election this Saturday?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I am sure the Minister will have the courtesy to treat it as at least lukewarm for the purposes of Senator Vanstone, and I will draw that supplementary question to his attention also.