HC Deb 16 May 1968 vol 764 c282W
Dr. Ernest A. Davies

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will make a statement on the outcome of his negotiations with the Australian Government on the future of the Woomera Range and associated facilities.

Mr. Stonehouse

Senator Anderson, the Australian Minister for Supply, and I had discussions in Canberra this week which resulted in agreed arrangements for the future of the range at Woomera and the supporting laboratories at Salisbury, near Adelaide, South Australia. These arrangements will come into force on 1st July, 1968 when the existing arrangements expire, and will continue up to 30th June, 1972.

During this period the United Kingdom will continue as a partner in the operation of the range at Woomera and the facilities for its direct support, and will share the costs equally with Australia. Responsibility for Salisbury Laboratories which have hitherto been part of the joint project will, however, be taken over by Australia and these laboratories will be deployed to an increasing extent for Australian purposes. During this period of redeployment, which will extend over the next three years, the United Kingdom will make contributions towards the cost of the Salisbury Laboratories, phased to reflect their changing rôle.