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Friday, 5 December 1986
Page: 3500

Senator COONEY —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation. Are there circumstances where officials of the Department of Aviation suspend and revoke pilots licences without resorting to legal process? If so, under what powers do they purport to act? How many licences have been suspended or revoked without resort to legal process since 1 November 1984? In respect of what offences were they suspended or revoked?

Senator GIETZELT —The Senate would appreciate that Senator Cooney has asked a very important legal question involving the rights of persons who are affected from time to time. Because he recognised that fact he was able to give me a little notice. Unfortunately, I have to indicate to him that it was inadequate notice as I have not been able to obtain from the Minister for Aviation the answers in respect of the four issues that he has raised. This does affect the Department of Aviation. Of course, he has correctly drawn attention in his question to the fact that, obviously, when licences are withdrawn, the rights of people are affected. I am sure that that is what is exciting the honourable senator's particular interest in the matter. I have tried to obtain an answer from the Minister for Aviation but I have to advise the honourable senator that I am not able to respond. I will again seek an early response from the Minister as soon as possible.