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Wednesday, 16 May 1973
Page: 2166

Mr NICHOLLS (BONYTHON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I preface my question to the Minister for Defence by stating that in 1951 the Department of the Army made a decision to establish a central ordnance depot in South Australia. For this purpose 312 acres of land was acquired at Elizabeth North. As successive Ministers for the Army have informed this House that the ordnance depot will be established, can the Minister inform the House what is the latest position of this project?

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - It is true that in 1950 the Army acquired 274 acres of land at Elizabeth to provide an ordnance depot in that area. The need to establish this facility has been recognised by the Army authorities and the matter has been under consideration from time to time. In 1966 the Premier of South Australia wrote to the then Minister for the Army asking for information concerning the provision of the ordnance facilities in that area. He was informed at that time that because of the low relative priority and having regard to other requirements it would not be possible to proceed with this facility before 1971-72. The matter has now been examined again, and it is considered by the Department of the Army that the project could not be proceeded with before the financial year 1976-77. However, in view of the interest that the honourable member has in this matter and because I believe that there is a need to co-ordinate ordnance depots so that those facilities which are now scattered throughout various parts of South Australia are centralised at Elizabeth. I will undertake to have the matter reinvestigated and to ascertain whether it is possible to have that date brought forward.

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