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Friday, 19 April 1985
Page: 1262

Senator McINTOSH —Can the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation inform the Senate whether it is a fact that Qantas Airways Ltd will not carry members or officials of the All Blacks rugby team on their proposed tour of South Africa?

Senator GIETZELT —I think it is well known that the Government's attitude in respect of sporting links with South Africa is one of total opposition. The Government will do all within its power to ensure that its position is similar for Australian sports men and women and New Zealand sports persons, if we have any influence over them at all. I understand that the possibility of directing Qantas not to carry members of the New Zealand team is under consideration by the Government. I expect that the Government will have support from the Opposition on this attitude. I believe that apart from a few odd bods in the National Party we maintain the same bipartisan attitude in respect of sporting contacts with South Africa as has existed for quite a considerable number of years.

I am advised that, under the terms of the guidelines, the directors of Qantas can be influenced not to carry a group of passengers. Therefore, it would be possible for the Government to exercise these powers to prohibit Qantas from carrying New Zealand rugby players on their way to South Africa on its Zimbabwe service. I am further advised that on 25 March a mandatory instruction was promulgated by the Qantas manager in New Zealand to all the offices of Qantas in New Zealand that if the tour was announced Qantas would not be associated in any way with its promotion. A cable has just been received from Wellington indicating that the Qantas regional manager has told the public generally that Qantas will not carry members of the All Blacks team or officials associated with the tour. Therefore, it would appear that, even though the Qantas organisation is free to make its own commercial decisions, it nevertheless is broadly carrying out the Government's policy in this matter. Therefore, I would expect that in no way will Qantas or this Government be associated with the All Blacks tour of South Africa.