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Tuesday, 22 October 2002
Page: 8245


Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) (5:17 PM) —Mr Speaker, I seek the indulgence of the chair to add to an answer.


The SPEAKER —The Prime Minister may proceed.


Mr HOWARD —At the beginning of question time, the member for Cowan asked me a question about travel arrangements for relatives of apparently deceased Australians coming to the memorial service on Thursday. I have been informed that before question time—indeed, as early as last Friday—approaches were made by my department to the airlines to establish whether there would be any difficulties regarding ticket availability and also cost. They were informed that there would be none. All carriers were contacted. As a result of the question raised by the member, my department is again contacting the carriers to see if there is a difficulty. Could I ask the honourable gentleman, if he is aware of specific cases, to let my office know and we will see what we can do about it. My information is that as early as last Friday contact was made with the airlines in anticipation that there might be a difficulty, and we were told, on the basis of that inquiry, that there would be none.