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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1922

Mr HALLETT (CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Can the Minister for the Navy say whether the causeway project at Garden Island in Cockburn Sound will be completed on schedule? Can he say also whether naval base development projects are planned to proceed at the completion of the causeway project? If so, can the Minister indicate when such works will proceed and what is involved?

Dr MACKAY - The causeway project is up to date; indeed, it is ahead of schedule. It is planned that the project will be completed by mid 1973. This will mean that Garden Island will be linked to the. mainland in such a way that the rest of the project, which it is envisaged will accommodate several submarines and destroyer escorts, will certainly be able to be completed on time. Of course, this is related to the fact that there exist overall necessities for the operations ' of our fleet and the men and equipment which will be provided for the base. The whole progress of this operation is taking place, I believe, completely satisfactorily and 1975 should see the base fit for operation in the first phase of its development. The naval base is a project that will grow and continue to expand in importance and significance as the nation expands. I take this opportunity to point out that the construction of a major naval base is not just a matter of providing a support facility such as the one we are engaged upon in Cockburn Sound but, as with Garden Island, we must rely upon a great industrial infrastructure which is essential to the whole work of equipping the fleet. This infrastructure, is presently situated at our major dockyards in the 2 largest Australian cities. As Perth and Fremantle grow and as the engineering facilities and other capabilities of the State expand, so I confidently expect the naval capabilities of Cockburn Sound to expand.

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