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Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Page: 105

Mr BUNGEY (CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -I address a question to the Minister for Defence. I refer to the Government's proposal to upgrade Australian defence facilities. Can the Minister indicate what additional defence capacity is planned for Western Australia?

Mr KILLEN - There is to be a very substantial enhancement of defence facilities in Western Australia. The facilities of HMAS Stirling are to be considerably expanded.

Mr Hayden - Again.

Mr KILLEN -Not again at all.

Mr Hayden - Why didn't you do it when you promised it last time?

Mr KILLEN - I remind the Leader of the Opposition that it was left to the present Prime Minister and the present Minister for Defence in a government of years ago not merely to make the decision regarding HMAS Stirling but also to commence the work. The facilities at Learmonth will be considerably expanded. The mention of the name Learmonth reminds me that the airfield there was built by the Royal Australian Air Force Airfield Construction Squadron, a squadron that was disbanded by a government in which the present Leader of the Opposition sat. We would propose to acquire an amphibious exercise area in Western Australia, we would propose to develop an airfield at Derby and we would propose to continue with the establishment of a modern patrol boat facility at Darwin. I can assure the honourable member for Canning, who takes a lively and intelligent interest in his State, that those works will proceed.

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