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Tuesday, 6 September 1960

Mr FREETH (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for the Interior) - The Commonwealth Government issued a statement on civil defence policy last September. That statement set out the requirements, laid down within the framework of policy arrived at concerning the expansion of civil defence. This required consultations with State governments. A conference was held last January with the State Ministers in charge of civil defence, and it was agreed that the Director of Civil Defence would consult with the State governments in detail to ascertain their individual requirements regarding civil defence organization. At a further conference which was held in June, all these considerations were again examined and requests were made to the Commonwealth by the State governments. The Commonwealth then undertook to examine those requests, and is at present considering them. I remind the honorable member, who talked about a detailed, comprehensive plan for civil defence, that more than 4,000 members of the State public services and other organizations in the States have attended the Civil Defence School at Mount Macedon precisely for the purpose of enabling them to go back to their States with an idea of what is required in their own areas.

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