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Tuesday, 22 May 1973
Page: 2421


Mr HALLETT (Canning) -Clause 5 which we are now discussing is a most important section of the Bill because it deals with the functions of the Australian National Airlines Commission. This is what the argument is all about in relation to what the future position may be. Let me say at the outset that the dual airline system in Australia has been built up over 20-odd years by previous governments and despite what might be said by Government supporters today it has been built up very successfully. I think that Australia generally is proud of the service. This is what we want to preserve. We feel a little concerned, as has been mentioned in the debate, over this Bill. Statements have been made by Government supporters and the Minister for Transport and Minister for Civil Aviation has made clear his intentions. The Minister has made a number of statements relating to this Bill. I think if we dealt with those statements the people would only become more confused. If this Bill becomes an Act we can rely only on the Act for interpretation. If it becomes an Act it has to be interpreted and that is what the Opposition supporters are concerned about.

It is along this line that I raise my protest on this Bill. Clause 5 reads, in part:

The functions of the Commission are -

(c)   to provide to the Commonwealth and authorities of the Commonwealth, for reward, aviation, land transport and engineering services and such other services as can conveniently be provided by the use of the resources of the Commission,

This Bill would, if passed, give the Commission very wide powers in relationto resources. Regardless of what the Minister may have said in his second reading speech and regardless of what he may subsequently have said in this debate it is still the Act itself which has to be interpreted in regard to the. services that may be carried out by the Commission on behalf of the Government and the people of Australia. My main point is that anything done by this Bill or any futureBill which upsets the dual airline system in Australia is a discredit to this nation. We have seen this service built up over a number of years. It is not easy to build up a successful airline service in a country consisting of 13 million people in an area of about 3,000,000 square miles.

The Opposition is concerned that the dual airline service will in fact be disrupted if the powers set out in this Bill are put into operation. I ask the Minister: Why has he included these clauses in the Bill if he does not want to use them? If he does not want to use the powers or if the Government has no intention to use them why not take them out? It is of not a bit of use for the Minister to make certain statements in the House if he leaves he Bill in its present form. He should remove these clauses from the. Bill.







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