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Federal Government's embarrassing policy reversal on Laverton



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JULIAN BEALE, M.H.R. t Federal Member for Bruce e. ^ S h a d o w Minister for Privatisation

M E D IA R E L E A S E

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S EMBARRASSING POLICY REVERSAL ON LAVERTON

"The Federal Government has reversed its decision, announced last year, to close the Laverton RAAF Base, the Federal Member for Bruce and Shadow Minister for Privatisation", Julian Beale, said today.

This embarrassing policy reversal follows high level conflict in the Defence Department and in ALP factions in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

The Defence Minister, Senator Ray, has backed down on his

previous closure decision in the face of Departmental and ALP hostility.

The Defence Force review process is now in turmoil with further suggestions that Defence operations may close in St Kilda Road and be shifted to Laverton or interstate.

The opportunity has now arisen for private enterprise and Victorian education institutions to combine with the RAAF in making full use of the Laverton facilities.

A number of national and international private sector air freight companies are interested in using the Laverton and Avalon facilities.

Interests associated with the RMIT, Melbourne University and airline companies have proposed the establishment of a world class aviation institute at Laverton.

The institute would have the capacity to train thousands of students a year in all aspects of the aviation industry from aircraft engineers to catering managers.

A privatisation of part of Laverton Base and the contracting out of services would make a substantial contribution to job creation in Melbourne.

The RAAF is keen to keep open the airstrip at Laverton and

private enterprise is interested in using the strip for

commercial and training purposes.

The State Government has been surprised by the Federal

Government's decision and has shown no interest in the future of Laverton, although the Base contributes $110 million a year into the economy of Victoria and the western suburbs of Melbourne.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION (03) 827 9996 26 July 1992 57/92

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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