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Wednesday, 25 February 1959

Mr HULME (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Supply) - 'I did have the opportunity last Friday of visiting the government factory at Deer Park. So far as the I.C.I, factory is concerned, I can give no other information than that the factory is registered under the Victorian Explosives Act. With regard to the Commonwealth factory, .1 can say that the Commonwealth has owned the land for a considerable number of years, and owned it before there was any housing settlement in the area. I would have thought, therefore, that the State and municipal authorities would have considered the problems arising from the establishment of a housing settlement so close to an explosives factory before giving permission for any such settlement to be established. I can tell the House that there is in the United Kingdom a committee, known as the Explosives, Stores and Transport Committee, which offers advice, based on experience of bombing and of experimental and accidental explosions, in relation to this particular problem. In Australia we have an operational safety committee which also tenders advice to the Government with regard to this problem. The advice that I have with respect to this matter is that we can be sure there would be no loss of life should an accidental explosion occur at this factory, although there might be minor damage, such as, perhaps, a few broken windows.

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