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Monday, 22 March 1999
Page: 3920


Mrs GALLUS (3:12 PM) —This is the second time that the Adelaide Airport Curfew Bill has been presented to this House. The first time was on 29 June 1998. In the short time between the passing of the bill through this House and the parliament moving into recess, the Senate did not have time to consider it and the bill therefore lapsed. This is my first opportunity to introduce it in the new parliament and I am very pleased to be introducing this bill today.

The purpose of the Adelaide Airport Curfew Bill 1999 is to give a legislative curfew to Adelaide airport. Once the legislation is enacted, there will be a designated curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., with shoulder hours from 11 p.m. to midnight and from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. Shoulder hours exist at all airports with a curfew. Their purpose is to provide a small window of opportunity for international flights to allow them to fit into international schedules. Only new quieter aircraft known as chapter 3 aircraft can access the shoulder periods, and during the hours planes must not use reverse thrust greater than idle on landing and, unless weather conditions are adverse, must land from over the sea.

Currently, Qantas flies into Adelaide airport at five minutes past 5 a.m. during the winter months, five days a week, from Monday to Friday. There have been complaints that some of the early morning Qantas flights have been coming in over the city too often. This legislation requires that when shoulder hour flights do come in over the city, the pilot and airline will have to submit a report on the weather conditions. Neither pilots nor airlines like this additional paperwork. Once this legislation is enacted residents will know that, if these flights do come in over the city, there is a genuine safety need.

Sixty-five per cent of South Australia's freighted exports are flown out of either Sydney or Melbourne. Fresh chilled tuna and fresh fruit and vegetables are currently trucked from Port Lincoln to either Melbourne or Sydney to be airfreighted to North-East Asia, and live crayfish are flown domestically to these cities for export. Clearly this is not in the interests of freshness or quality, and a weekly freighter direct to North-East Asia would be of great benefit to South Australia. While there are currently no plans for an international freighter to come into Adelaide during the curfew shoulder hours, it was the wish of the South Australian government that the legislation did not exclude the possibility of such a flight.

The 1998 bill permitted all flights that were scheduled during curfew hours in June 1998 to continue. However, the present bill no longer permits DC9s access to the airport during curfew hours. The legislation has been strengthened to exclude any aircraft, such as the DC9, that do not meet the 90-95 rule. Under the 90-95 rule, aircraft cannot exceed 90 decibels on take off and 95 decibels on landing.

The Adelaide airport curfew has always allowed freight planes in at night. This legislation ensures two things: firstly, that the only freight aircraft above 34,000 kilograms that can access the airport during curfew hours are those allowed through regulation by the minister; and, secondly, that the minister cannot regulate to allow in any freight flights during the curfew hours that do not meet the 90-95 rule.

This restriction on noisy freight planes will be a great relief to Adelaide residents who have been woken up by the DC9 and other noisy aircraft. Currently National Jet moves jet planes in and out of Adelaide airport during the curfew on an infrequent basis to position them for overhaul and replace aircraft that have broken down elsewhere in Australia. So long as these aircraft meet the 90-95 rule, they will be able to continue this practice with the aeroplanes themselves being regarded as freight for the purpose of this legislation.

There has been some criticism of the placing of the Adelaide airport curfew into legislation. It has been claimed that this will slow economic development in South Australia. I reject this argument. Twenty thousand residents live next to the airport. It is incumbent on any government to ensure that, if they have allowed airports and houses to exist next to each other, residents are protected from excessive noise. It is a fundamental right that people should be able to get a proper night's sleep. Residents living near an airport do not forfeit that right.

Finally, I would like to thank Adelaide airport's corporation, the state government of South Australia—especially the Minister for Transport, the Hon. Diana Laidlaw—for their constructive input into this legislation. I would also like to thank the Prime Minister for his support. I dedicate this bill to the residents surrounding Adelaide airport. I am pleased to be able to be of service to them and to make a material difference to their lives.

I commend the bill to the House, and I table the explanatory memorandum.

Bill read a first time.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Nehl) —In accordance with standing order 104A, the second reading will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.