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Thursday, 14 May 1970

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - I will deal with the latter part of the question first. The situation in Melbourne is quite different from that in Sydney. The Essendon Airport in Melbourne had reached saturation point and it was necessary to find a new area for the major airport to service the city and the State. On those grounds a decision was made some years ago to establish the new airport at Tullamarine and that, as honourable members know, has been done. The situation in Sydney is quite different. It will be quite some years, probably not until the end of the 1980s, before the Sydney airport site of Mascot will reach saturation point. Even so, it will be in a position to continue to handle traffic after that date. An investigation on almost the same time scale has been undertaken, and is continuing, to find an additional site to service Sydney when Mascot reaches saturation point. As I say, it is understood that the operations at Mascot will continue for an indefinite time in the future but the airport will be supplemented by an additional site which has yet to be located. This investigation is proceeding by a special committee and it is expected it will be some time yet before a final recommendation is made.

In relation to the point on aircraft noise, I have not seen the report referred to but no doubt my colleague in another place has. I draw the attention to the honourable member for Kingsford-Smith to the fact that the Government was concerned with the problem of noise, particularly in Sydney but also in other areas in Australia, and as a result a select committee of this House was set up in the last Parliament. It has been re-established in this Parliament and the matters that have been referred to by the honourable member are ones which would come within the competence of that committee to consider and on which to make recommendations in its report at a later date.

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