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Tuesday, 28 September 1971
Page: 1521

Mr GRAHAM (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for the Navy: Having regard to the fascinating events now taking place in London involving the accredited representatives of a for eign power and what is termed 'industrial espionage', does the Minister assure the House of the security of naval establishments, dockyards and construction centres to design and build Australia's new destroyers for our future defence at sea?

Dr MACKAY - As will have been seen in the Press it has been announced that the preliminary design for our new light destroyer has been completed. I now have this design on my desk and the naval officers concerned are studying it. The destroyer will be an advanced and sophisticated ship. It will incorporate many improved and secret devices. However at times the situation in our dockyards where we are hoping the destroyer will be built - this is a decision yet to be made by the Government - is far from desirable in terms of security. I shall mention 2 matters in particular which stand out. Firstly, there is great resistance on the part of some trade unions to the most elementary form of identification cards for the identification of employees. I would think that this was an acceptable means of reasonable security in any establishment of this kind. Secondly some unions demand the right to put whom they will into a position of employment in our dockyards without the management of the dockyard having any right of scrutiny or say who is to be employed in the dockyard. To my mind this again is an unacceptable security risk. Tn relation to this matter negotiations will have to proceed with the unions concerned before we can risk the kind of operation which is involved in the construction of the light destroyers.

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