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Wednesday, 27 November 1996
Page: 6129


Senator BOB COLLINS —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Develop ment and relates to a further outcome from political paybacks by the Minister for Transport and Regional Development that have compromised aviation safety in Australia. Can the minister confirm that a PA31 aircraft participating in a search and rescue precision aerial delivery system, or PADS, training exercise off Jervis Bay on 10 November was involved in a serious incident that almost resulted in the loss of the aircraft? Can the minister also confirm that the PADS training program has been suspended as a result of this incident?


Senator ALSTON —I am not sure that I have specific information on that matter. It seems to require a degree of technical advice that I am not presently able to provide. To the extent that the Minister for Transport and Regional Development is able to provide additional information, I will certainly ensure that that is brought before the Senate.


Senator BOB COLLINS —Madam President, I ask a supplementary question. While you are doing that, could you also ask the minister to provide to the Senate as a matter of urgency the incident report relating to this incident that was made to the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation, the SAR training occurrence report and the video taken of the training exercise?


Senator ALSTON —I will take all that on board.