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Tuesday, 25 September 1973
Page: 1414

Mr LUCOCK (LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for Defence received any reports of the reaction of the Royal Australian Air Force, Port Stephens Shire Council or the residents of the surrounding district to the disbanding of 76 Squadron at Williamtown? Is he aware that the defensive capacity of the RAAF will be seriously impaired by this policy of fewer aircraft and fewer men? What action does he intend to take to meet the strong resentment of the RAAF at this policy decision? Will he immediately review these decisions to prevent any further deterioration in the morale of Australian servicemen?

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - I have received representations from the organisation to which the honourable member referred. These followed decisions made by the Department of Defence concerning some cutback in the Royal Australian Air Force. I have not yet received a reply from the Department of Defence concerning these representations but I will undertake to obtain information about the request made by the organisation. As soon as I am in a position to do so I will advise the honourable member accordingly.

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