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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2936

Senator REID(9.52) —I want to raise the matter of the air training college which is said is to be established at Pialligo. Why has the area in Pialligo been chosen for the air training college? Would any other site in Canberra be more suitable, perhaps a site nearer the more traditional educational institutions in the Australian Capital Territory? The siting of the college at Pialligo would destroy the integrity of the area and would totally destroy the slightly rural nature of the industries which exist in the area. I want to know what the real cost of the college would be and the actual dimensions of the area required for the college as against the area that has been indicated as being resumed for the purposes of the college. In particular, we are entitled to know exactly how much it will cost to drain the area, given that it is on a river bed and that considerable additional cost would be involved to construct in the area compared with just about any other area one could think of.

Pialligo is the run-off site for the present airport, in which case the amount of water that lies in the area is considerably in excess of what normally would be the case. After the rains we had last week the amount of water in the area would be considerable. The cost which would be incurred in placing the site in Pialligo is greatly in excess of what it would cost to place it in just about any other part of Canberra one could think of. On what basis is it essential to destroy absolutely the integrity of the Pialligo area when it would cost so much more to place the college there than somewhere nearer the Campbell offices, nearer the Fairbairn Airport at the other end of the present airport? Why does it have to be in Pialligo? Why the need to resume so much land which would preclude people from developing the businesses which presently exist there, which will put people out of work and destroy businesses and when the college could be built on another site?