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Tuesday, 4 December 1973
Page: 4179

Mr RUDDOCK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address my question to the Minister for Defence. In view of the importance of the provision in the future of additional national parks, and the promises made by the previous Government that rationalisation of land presently used for defence purposes on the Sydney Harbour foreshores would permit the granting of that land to form part of the Sydney foreshores national park, will the Minister assure the House that this proposed plan is not being shelved, that the land will be made available on just terms and that the proposed national park will not be jeopardised by the use of the proposal as a bargaining point with the New South Wales Government on other matters?

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - I asked the Department of Defence some time ago to look at the question of land that is available and now occupied by the various defence departments. Since then there has been a. communication between the Premier of New South Wales and the Prime Minister, and this matter is now under consideration at that level. I remind the honourable member that not only is it a matter for determination by myself as the Minister for Defence but also it is a matter for consideration by the Minister for Urban and Regional Development and the Minister for Services and Property. When the consideration and discussions between the Premier of New South Wales and the Prime Minister are concluded these matters will then be considered as a whole by the 3 Ministers concerned. I can assure the honourable member, since he raised the question of national parks, that this matter has been recognised by the Minister for Urban and Regional Development as being basic to the Australian Government's policy. I am sure that my colleague, the Minister for Urban and Regional Development, will move to ensure that, when and if there is a transfer of property from the defence departments and probably also from the Department of Supply, this matter will receive the attention that it deserves.

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