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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2220

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Social Security)(12.22) —I had the information yesterday in anticipation of Senator Boswell asking me a question then, when I was representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Senator Gietzelt. I will do my best from memory while that information is on its way to me. As I understand it, the international terminal at Brisbane Airport was constructed in 1975 and was upgraded in 1981 because of the Commonwealth Games. It is capable of handling, I think, four Boeing 747 flight arrivals with ease and six without much problem. At the time the Public Works Committee of this Parliament had the usual inquiry into that upgrading, the Queensland Government gave evidence agreeing with the changes to be made. That Government did not make then, and has not since made, any application for the building of a new international terminal at Brisbane Airport.

Senator Martin —Do you want to do things in Queensland only when they ask you?

Senator GRIMES —Just a minute. It was accepted then, and it is the view of the present Government, that the terminal is certainly adequate and capable of handling any increase in international traffic until 1990. I am aware of the problem of the outward appearance of the airport and the lack of air bridges necessary to remove passengers from planes. We do not believe that the expenditure of $45m on a new terminal is justified at the moment; that will be considered nearing 1990. Much of the agitation has to do with Expo 88. The expectation is that Expo 88 will extend over six months. Most of those who will arrive at that time will be catered for by existing airline flights. Many people coming to Australia will go to Brisbane on domestic flights, having arrived at other ports of call.

The only other thing I recall is that one of the chief agitators and critics concerning the building of a new terminal is in fact Mr Jull, who I am told attended the Public Works Committee hearings, agreed with the upgrading of the new airport and acknowledged that it would be adequate to 1990. He made no suggestion at that time that a new terminal was necessary. However, that is all from memory. I hope I have not made any mistakes. If I have, I will soon be told about it. I will get the full answer for Senator Boswell in the near future.