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Tuesday, 19 May 1970

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - 1 did have some close association with this matter when I was administering civil aviation. I think the House is aware of the action that the Government took at that time to initiate in the international sense, through the International Civil Aviation Organisation, an annexe to the ICAO convention which established a committee of that body to place this problem on a higher plane and treat it as a matter of urgency. That was done on the Australian initiative. Several meetings of this special committee have been held subsequently and we expect that flowing from that government members of ICAO will act on the recommendations which they receive. On the domestic scene, I know that the Department of Civil Aviation has been very active in this field. In another field a select committee set up by the previous Parliament and reconstituted by this Parliament has already been active in investigating the various problems that have been referred to. Its report, when received, will be considered very carefully by the Government. In addition the Minister for Civil Aviation has set up a series of committees in a number of capital cities, including Sydney, to get the views of local authorities and other interested bodies in this matter and to seek suggestions that might be of assistance in this field. Also, as the honourable member will know, in the last Parliament about $23m was allocated for the extension of the main runway into Botany Bay. That work is proceeding. When the runway is completed it will be possible to make more landings and take-offs over the waters of Botany Bay. These are some of the details within my knowledge of action taken in this field. I will see that the honourable gentleman's question is brought to the attention of my colleague in another place and if further information is available I will see that it is provided to the honourable gentleman.

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