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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 1302

Senator NEGUS (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. I preface it by saying that on 5th September the Commonwealth Government offered to make a $3.5m grant to the New South Wales Government to construct a new graving dock in Newcastle I ask: Has this grant been accepted? If not, will the Commonwealth Government offer it to the Western Australian Government to construct a dry dock at the Cockburn Sound naval base? Does the Minister know that I have asked on a previous occasion for such a dock to be incorporated in the Cockburn Sound naval base? Does the Minister know that Western Australia has a need for dry docking facilities as there are no such facilities on the west coast of Australia? If the grant has been accepted by the New South Wales Government, will the Commonwealth Government give consideration to making a similar grant to Western Australia?

The PRESIDENT - Order! The honourable senator has asked a long and complicated question on a subject which does not come within the immediate supervision of the Minister. If he wishes to answer it he may do so, otherwise it will go on notice. I leave it to the Minister to decide.

Senator COTTON - Mr President,I was just about to indicate that the question was, as you have pointed out, a detailed one and that it seemed to me that I would have to ask for it to go on notice in order to enable me to obtain an answer to it from the Minister for Shipping and Transport. But I was going to observe in passing that I am very conscious of the development potential of the west coast of Australia and its defence importance. I believe that what the honourable senator has said has quite a bit of merit to it.

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