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Thursday, 27 March 2003
Page: 13812

Mr WILKIE (3:07 PM) —My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence. Is the minister aware that the use of Perth airport by military aircraft has tripled since the start of the war with Iraq? Can the minister confirm that the security for military aircraft using Perth airport is the responsibility of the Commonwealth and not Westralia Airports Corporation? Minister, can you advise what additional security measures the Commonwealth has introduced at Perth airport since the RAAF dramatically increased its reliance on Perth's domestic airport?

Mr DOWNER (Minister for Foreign Affairs) —To the best of my knowledge, the Commonwealth and the Western Australian authorities have ensured adequate security at Perth airport in recent times. I have no information that has been passed to me or, to the best of my knowledge, to the transport minister that suggests that there have been any security breaches of any significance at Perth airport. I think the arrangements in place are, by all accounts, adequate.

Mr DOWNER —As the Deputy Prime Minister said, if the honourable member has any instance of a security problem at Perth airport, obviously we would be very happy to look at it.

Mr Howard —Mr Deputy Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.