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Tuesday, 18 September 1973
Page: 1132

Mr BARNARD (Bass) (Minister for Defence, Minister for the Navy, Minister for the Army, Minister for Air and Minister for Supply) - by leave - Yesterday during question time the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the honourable member for Flinders (Mr Lynch), asked me a question relating to the Richmond Air Base and the proposed new second Sydney airport at Galston. At that time I indicated to the honourable member that I had received no information from my Department. After question time I initiated inquiries into the matter. I want to explain to the honourable member and to the House that before the decision was made about Galston I had received no information on this site from the Department of Defence. However, subsequent to the Government taking its decision I did receive a short statement through the Department of Defence and a submission from the Chief of the Air Staff. They indicated that in all the circumstances there could be some difficulties or some difficulties might be created at the Richmond air base due to air traffic in that area. However, as a detailed study is now being undertaken of the proposal to establish the second Sydney airport in the Galston area, the full implications for the Department of Defence will be considered at that time. A further and more detailed in-depth study will be undertaken at the same time by the Department of Defence. I just want to indicate to the honourable member that I regret that to this extent I did mislead him but I assure him that it was quite inadvertent.

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