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Wednesday, 7 December 1960

Mr CHANEY (Perth) .- I appreciate the fact that this work is to proceed. I also appreciate what the Minister has said. At the same time, I submit that it is necessary to proceed speedily with the Public Works Committee's recommendation that, if airworthiness tests of the Boeing 707- 138B reveal that the runway should be extended to 7,950 feet, a further £40,000 be expended on extending the runway to take these aeroplanes. The Minister also mentioned that the Empire Games are to be held in 1962. By that time, of course, we shall have a terminal building that will compare with anything in Australia, and it would be a great pity if we had a terminal building without suitable facilities for the aircraft that will be bringing the passengers who will use that airport terminal building.

Another factor to be considered is that at the moment there are two international services operating through Perth airport. One is part of the Qantas service via Singapore to link with the 707 service to London. That service is being operated now with Super Constellations which, I am afraid, in these days of modern overseas air travel, are very close to being obsolete. The other service is operated by Qantas, again using Super Constellations, to South Africa once a fortnight. On the alternate week of each fortnight South African Airways run DC7's from Johannesburg to Perth. South African Airways have just announced that they intend to run a jet service from South Africa to London. From memory, I think they are using Douglas DC8's. It is obvious that they could not extend their service to Australia, with those planes, unless the extra work outlined by the Minister were carried out at the Perth airport. Therefore, I think the Government should give further consideration to this matter with a view to ensuring that the slight extra expenditure required - it is much less than the original estimate, which I think ran into £1,000,000-

Mr Freeth - It was £650,000.

Mr CHANEY - Upon reconsidering the project, the Department of Civil Aviation found that it could bring the runways and taxiways at Perth airport up to international standard for an expenditure of about only £40,000 or £50,000.

Mr Freeth - For £120,000.

Mr CHANEY - Which is still much less than the original estimate. I think it is highly desirable that the Government give earnest consideration to setting aside this additional amount to bring the airport up to a standard which will allow it to cater for the jet aircraft used on any international service at the present time.

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