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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2473

Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   Will he supply details of all military training that has been provided in Australia for personnel from (a) Papua New Guinea, (b) Fiji, and (c) other Pacific Island nations during the last 10 years.

(2)   What were the ranks of the officers concerned and the dates and places of their training.

Mr Barnard - The answer to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(a)   Papua New Guinea - As members of the PNG Defence Force are enlisted as members of the Australian Armed Services, it is not possible to provide completely the breakdown sought by the Honourable Member. However, the following information is available.

(i)   Land Element- 46 officers have completed training at Officer Cadet School (OCS), Portsea, and another 12 officers are currently in training there. In addition to training at Portsea, Papua New Guinea members of the land element have attended other training courses from time to time. In 1973, two majors are attending the 12- month course at the Australian Army Staff College, Queenscliff, and eleven land element and one maritime element officers at a junior level are attending a 16-week junior staff course at Enoggera, Queensland. In addition to the above, soldiers and officers of various rank have attended courses of short duration in Australian Army training establishments.

(ii)   Maritime Element - 7 officers have completed training at HMAS Cerberus and in Australian patrol boats. 19 sailors have also completed apprentice and miscellaneous training in Australia (11 at HMAS Nirimba and 8 at HMAS Cerberus). At present, 8 midshipmen are in officer training at HMAS Cerberus, and15 sailors are in training (9 at HMAS Cerberus, 4 at HMAS Nirimba, 2 at HMAS Waterhen).

(iii)   Air Element -15 Papua New Guineans are currently engaged in air and ground crew training in Australia. These include 7 officer cadets at Point Cook undergoing flying training, 2 potential tradesmen at Laverton and 6 potential tradesmen at the RAAF Technical School, Wagga. They are the first Papua New Guineans to come to Australia for training by the RAAF.

(b)   Fiji 1963 1 Captain at Australian Staff College, Queenscliff 1969 1 Major at Australian Staff College, Queenscliff 1971 2 Officer cadets at OCS Portsea 1972 1 Officer cadet at OCS Portsea 1973 2 Officer cadets at OCS Portsea; 1 Lieutenant at Otdnance Centre Bandiana; 1 Lance Corporal at School of Music, Balcombe; 1 Sergeant at Jungle Training Centre, Canungra; 1 Lance Corporal at Jungle Training Centre, Canungra.

(c)   Other Pacific Island Nations- Apart from PNG, Fiji is the only South Pacific country to maintain an Armed Service. Consequently, Australia has not provided military training to Pacific Island countries other than Fiji and PNG during the last10 years.

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