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Thursday, 2 November 1967

Mr IAN ALLAN (Gwydir) (2:58 AM) One aspect of this Bill which should be brought out is that we must now look at our capacity to enforce new rights. If we had two patrol vessels based at Darwin that were capable of travelling at 20 knots - and one would probably be out of service at any given time - and if an aircraft located a fishing fleet from some foreign country in the Gulf of Carpentaria, many miles away from Darwin, it would be several days before a patrol craft would be able to reach the foreign fishing fleet, or the position at which it was originally sighted. Therefore, I think it is about time that we gave consideration to increasing the numbers and class of patrol vessels around the Australian coast. The Vosper Thornycroft group in England turn out a gas turbine patrol boat that is capable of 57 knots - or 66 miles an hour - and these patrol boats have been sold to Germany, Denmark, Malaysia, Brunei, Libya, the West Indies and several other countries. We could use vessels of that kind in Australia. I suggest that while the Government is giving effect to this legislation it should give urgent attention to modernising our fleet of patrol vessels by buying vessels of this type and speed, which could do a better job on the long Australian coastline.

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