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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 988

Senator PRIMMER (VICTORIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Is it a fact that the Omega base causes radio and telephone interference up to 20 miles from its centre? Does the Royal Australian Navy propose to install Omega receiving sets in any of its vessels? If so, what is the cost of any such set? Can low frequency transmissions from Omega penetrate sea-water to a depth of 40 to 50 feet and communicate with submarines at that depth? ls the main control centre for the Omega system based at Hawaii? Can this centre alter the phase shifts and inject code into the system without the host countries being aware of the same? Has the Japanese Government the right to close down its Omega base in Japan at any time? Why did New Zealand decline to allow an Omega base in that country? Is there a blanket transmission area of 600 miles around each Omega station? Has the United States Navy been the main body concerned . with Omega development?

Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - I listened with some interest to this question, which began with the words 'Is it a fact' and proceeded to a great series of questions. All I know about Omega is that it is a navigational aid for surface ships. I do not know anything beyond that. But I am always fascinated to listen to a series of questions that appear to me to be designed to elucidate information that may well be within the Australian classified security area.

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