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Thursday, 23 August 1973
Page: 281

Mr HANSEN (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) - I direct my question to the Minister for Transport. I know that the Minister is aware and has been aware for some time of the critical position in some Australian shipyards in relation to orders. Is he able to give any indication of when orders will be placed with builders for the construction of the navigational aid vessels?

Mr CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - Tenders for the navigational aid ship were called earlier in the year and closed late in June. At the present time the model of the navigational aid ship is being subjected to tank testing in Germany. At the moment cavitation testing is being carried out. This in turn will have an influence on the final lines of the ship and also on the propellers. When these tests are concluded we will be in a position to allocate the order to the successful tenderer. I am not in a position to indicate to the honourable member at this stage who is the lowest tenderer, for one very simple reason, that when the tank tests are completed some major change in the design may be required and this could result in the project having to be submitted to retender. We do not expect that to happen because at the moment. the tank testing is going quite successfully and this would indicate that the design is quite satisfactory.

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