Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright—Government Whip) (18:40): My question goes to the parliamentary secretary regarding Budget Paper No. 2, page 233, on smaller government, surplus Commonwealth properties and divestiture of some non-defence surplus Commonwealth properties. In my electorate of Wright I am privileged to have the defence training facilities of the Canungra warfare training centre. I am often fortunate to meet ranking officers in the Australian military who at some stage of their illustrious career would have trained at that training centre. When I tell them I am from Beaudesert, they greet me with warmth, because they were hard days when officers were trained in intelligence and warfare in areas that are not that dissimilar to jungle-like warfare. To the northern end of my electorate I border up to Amberley air base and, just to the north-east, I have the Greenbank Army base facility, so I am surrounded by enormous assets in the defence portfolio area. I compliment Defence on the program they have had for divesting themselves of buildings that have asbestos in them to make the area safer for those who occupy the rooms.
I also take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the minister for the return of the gap-year program, which was a program that was abandoned by the previous government. It was a program that the Defence Force used to offer to year 12 students for 12 months after school where they could do a try-before-you-buy 12 months, touching every part of the Defence Force, to see if a career in the military was for them. Thank you, minister, for returning such a valuable gap-year program.
In addition to that, could you touch on something in the public arena around the Lodge refurbishment. This is in Budget Paper No. 2, also on page 233. There is additional funding going to that. I acknowledge the humbleness of our Prime Minister and the dwellings that he takes up at the moment. It shows the character of the man and shows that what he advocates from a fiscal perspective he actually practices. I am sure he would be complimented by those opposite as well.