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Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Page: 99

Mr SCHOLES (CORIO, VICTORIA) -The Minister for Defence will recall that on 17 February 1977, two days before the Western Australian elections, he announced in Perth that ships of the Royal Australian Navy would be permanently based at HMAS Stirling. He will also be aware that yesterday, four days before the 1980 Western Australian elections, the Prime Minister informed the House that ships of the Royal Australian Navy would be home based in Western Australia. I ask the Minister: As the announcement made in 1977 indicated that the vessels would be operating from Perth on a permanent basis by early 1979, can he give an indication or assurance to the House that the same announcement will not be made in the week prior to the 1983 Western Australian elections.

Mr KILLEN (MORETON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Defence) - I am enormously flattered that the honourable gentleman thinks that I will be here in 1983. According to some people in the Press Gallery I will be in a great variety of places. I would also say to my honourable friend that I am flattered no end, as is the Prime Minister, to think that we are now responsible for determining the dates when the Western Australian elections are held.

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