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Tuesday, 27 April 1971

Senator COTTON - I have some information on this matter which may help the honourable senator. The Minister has informed me that he is quite aware of the West Australian Government's decision to abandon its plans to introduce LASH vessels. This decision was taken in the light of tenders received as the price quoted for the vessels made it impracticable for the Government to proceed with its plans. The Minister states that he is aware that this type of vessel has been introduced overseas and that it was planned to build more, but there are different demands for this type of ship if the trade is to be served both economically and efficiently. Therefore, he is not at present prepared to offer an opinion on the LASH concept unless comment is confined to a particular trade. I have been asked to assure the honourable senator that the Department and the Australian National Line are constantly keeping under review any advances made in shipping technology. At this stage the Line has not made any submission for the introduction of LASH vessels on the Australian coast.

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