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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Page: 732

Mr HALLETT (CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Housing and refers to the establishment of naval support facilities which are being developed at Cockburn Sound in Western Australia and, in particular, to the housing requirements necessary to personnel to operate that base. In view of the statement made by the Minister for Defence on 22 August last, is the Minister for Housing in a position to say when the houses will be constructed, how many are involved, where they will be located and the standard of the homes to be built?

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I acknowledge the honourable member's continued interest in this matter. It is true that the Department of

Defence placed an order for 79 houses to meet the needs of naval personnel at HMAS Stirling' on Garden Island, Cockburn Sound. The matter has been the subject of some controversy between the Department of Defence and the Western Australian housing authority, the former preferring land at Kwinana and the latter preferring land at East Rockingham. I am pleased to be able to tell the honourable gentleman that recently - I think early in August - I had a discussion with the Western Australian Minister for Housing and we were able to reconcile the differing views to which I have referred. It is now intended to provide the 79 houses in the East Rockingham area. An exchange of land is involved and negotiations towards that end are in progress. Whether or not the provision of the houses is to be delayed will depend upon the priorities of the Department of Defence. I am able to give the honourable gentleman the assurance that the provision of houses will take place in such time as to ensure that the needs of the 79 families at HMAS 'Stirling' will be met at the appropriate time, that is, when they need them.

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