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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 512

UNITED STATES NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS STATION AT NORTH WEST CAPE - STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON. R G MENZIES IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - 17TH MAY 1962

Photo of Menzies, Robert

Menzies, Robert

Period of Service: 19/12/1949 to 26/01/1966

More information about Menzies, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/05/1962

Release Type: Statement in Parliament

Transcript ID: 512

UNITED STATES NAVAL COMMUTNICATIONS STATION AT NORTH WEST CAPE
STATEMENT Y TE PRTIME MTNISTERT TL RT, ' lONe R G MNZIEN,
" H-, THOEroTSE" Of RFe EITL 1V
As Honourable Members are aware, the United States
Naval Authorities have for some time been investigating possible
sites and studying the feasibility of establishing a Naval
Communications Station in Western Australia. Following these
investigations the United States Government has formally rcques'ed
permission to establish and operate such a station at North West
Cape. The Commonwealth Government has approved the request.
The Western Australian Government, which has been kept
informed, has already rendered considerable assistance in the
initial survey activities, It has expressed its desire to cooperate
to the fullest possible extent in the project an offe,
which is greatly appreciated by the Commonwealth Government.
The purpose of the Station, which will include a complex
antenna system high powered transmitting and receiving equipment,
and administrative and supporting facilities, is to provide radio
Scommunications for United States and allied ships over a wide
area of the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific.
The power supply required for the Station will be
provided by conventional type diesel motors,
The total area of land affected by the project will be
about 28 square miles, Cf this area, all except about 4 square
miles will continue to be available for such activities as
grazing, subject for technical reasons to restrictions on certain
types of construction or installations,
The estimated capital cost of the Station itself will be
of the order of œ A33million. Substantial additional funds will be
required for such things as housing and family amenities. The
United States Government will meet in full the expenditure
Srequired for both the construction and operation of the Station,
which will be without cost to the Australian Government.
Construction is planned to commence as soon as possible
and will be at its peak from early 1963 to late 1965. During this
period employment on the project is expected to be between 800
and 1000 people. In the construction of the Station, the maximum
practicable use will be made of Australian contractors, labour anr:
materials. Detailed liaison will be established between the
United States Authorities and appropriate Australian Departments
and Authorities to achieve this.
Present plans provide for an eventual population in the
area, to operate and maintain the Station, of approximately 450,
including both United States and Australian oprsonnel and their
dependants. Married quarters and essential comuunity facilities
will be provided for these people. A detailed agrooeent is bein2
worked out with the United States Government to cover the status
of American personnel who will be in Australia in connection wi. h
the Station.

2.
In addition to normal inter-service technical and
administrative liaison bet-een the United Stctes Authorities
responsible for the Station and co-operating Australian
Departments and Services, arrangements will be made for
consultation between the two Governments on matters relating to
the Station and its use. The facilities of the Station will be
available to the Australian Forces.
The matters to which I have referred will be embodied
in a formal agreement between the two Governments which is now
being prepared. This will be announced in due course.
The establishment of this Station in Australia will
mark an important step in the steadily increasing defence cooperation
between the two countries. It will make a highly
significant contribution to general allied military capability in
this area. It is within the spirit of co-operation envisaged
under the ANZUS Treaty, under which the parties agreed to
co-ordinate their efforts for collective defence for the
preservation of peace and security.

Transcript 512