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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2473


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to a statement by the present Prime Minister when Leader of the Opposition, in February 1972, that the Australian Labor Party believed the Commonwealth should take a more active role in civil defence and that a Labor Government would establish a National Emergency Aid Service to replace the Directorate of Civil Defence.

(2)   If so, what action has been taken to achieve this undertaking.


Mr Barnard - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) I draw the honourable member's attention to the public statement I made on 19 December 1972 when I outlined proposals for the reorganisation of the Defence Group of Departments. This included the following reference to Civil Defence and a National Disaster Organisation:

The Civil Defence Directorate has been transferred to the Department of Defence. There will later be created a National Disaster Organisation in accociation with it to cope, in co-operation with other civil authorities in Australia, with the effects of natural disasters.'

Since then my Department has made a number of studies into this matter. These are to form a basis for discussion with interested departments and then for later consultations with the appropriate State authorities.

When these consultations are completed I will make a statement in Parliament concerning the creation of a National Disaster Organisation.







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