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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 2664

Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   Are the Australian and Canadian Governments considering the joint purchase and maintenance of defence equipment.

(2)   If so, have formal discussions been held.

(3)   If formal discussions have been held,

(a)   what decisions have been reached in relation to (i) purchases and related procedures and (ii) equipment to be jointly purchased;

(b)   will arrangements be made for co-operation in maintenance and supply of spares; and

(c)   are any joint production ventures under consideration.

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

(1)   and (2) The feasibility of joint purchasing of some major items of defence equipment by the Australian and Canadian Governments was discussed briefly at a meeting held on 14 August 1973 between the Minister for Defence and the Canadian Minister for National Defence, the Hon. James Richardson, P.C., M.P., during the latter's visit to Australia.

(3)   ((a), (i) and (ii)): It was decided that firm arrangements at this stage would be premature and that respective officials should first investigate the type of machinery required to enable mutual procurement arrangements to proceed. This is now being done.

(3)   (b): Co-operation in maintenance and supply of spares would be an important consideration in any future joint purchasing arrangements.

(3)   (c): No.

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