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Wednesday, 3 October 1984
Page: 1168

(Question No. 1102)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 24 August 1984:

(1) Why is the Government cutting back on operational and training flying time for Royal Australian Air Force pilots to such a degree that those pilots now joining squadrons are receiving insufficient flying time to make them proficient in all aspects of operational flying-particularly considering the Government has indicated its support for the construction of new RAAF bases such as Tindal and the acquisition of new aircraft for the RAAF.

(2) Will the Government change its attitude to ensure that Australia has a training program able to provide sufficient pilots to adequately crew RAAF aircraft whether it be fighters, bombers or surveillance aircraft for now and the near future.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) and (2) Despite the assertions by the honourable senator, the planned total RAAF flying hours for 1984-85 is about 8 per cent higher than that achieved in 1983-84 and this will ensure that the RAAF is able to provide sufficient pilots to crew its range of aircraft.