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Thursday, 20 September 1973
Page: 1314

Mr EDWARDS (BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I address my question to the Minister for Transport and Minister for Civil Aviation. Notwithstanding the answer of the Deputy Prime Minister to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, which still leaves the Galston position unclear, I ask the Minister: Can he say whether the DirectorGeneral of Civil Aviation has made a report to him on the significance of the proximity of the Royal Australian Air Force base at Richmond to the proposed international airport at Galston? If so, what was the gist of it? Was the cost of adapting RAAF operations at Richmond, or relocating the air base, included in the cost-benefit study of 15 sites carried out by the British consultants for the Commonwealth-State committee on the possi.bility of a second airport? I come finally to the interim report of the CommonwealthState committee which recommended the upgrading of Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport plus 5 sites, not including Galston, that the Minister undertook to table on 29 August, 3 weeks ago. Will we see it this side of the Parramatta by-election?

Mr CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - I have asked that the report be printed and made available to honourable members.

Mr Edwards - When?

Mr CHARLES JONES - I do not do the printing. It has been put in hand. It is amusing to stand here and watch the Leader of the Opposition smile at that remark. At least this Parliament and the people of Australia do now get reports. Only this week I tabled the working group's report which lay in the archives of this Parliament for well over 12 months, and which the Liberal-Country Party Government would never have tabled in this place. We have tabled hundreds of reports which the previous Government treated as secret and was not prepared to make available for public scrutiny. The Opposition should not talk to me about delays of a week or a month when referring to the tabling of reports. The report will be tabled as soon as it is printed. All relevant information, including about 18 booklets on the environmental impact of the various sites, will be placed not in this place because of the cost of printing those booklets but in the Library. The publications will be available to those honourable members who are interested.

We do not intend to suppress anything. The publications will be available for perusal. The record discloses that we are an open government and that the Opposition, when in office, was a government of secrecy and was not prepared to make information available to the public. I have had no report from the DirectorGeneral of Civil Aviation on this matter. The Leader of the Opposition, in a speech one day, last week, stated a lot of bunkum when he said that the Director-General was laying siege to his office because of another inquiry that was being conducted. That was typical of the bunkum which is coming from the opposite side of the House.

I have received no report from the DirectorGeneral on the matter - from memory. I have no particular report concerning the effects of Richmond on other sites. General aviation airports were referred to in unprinted copies of the report. I do not recall Galston being mentioned as far as Richmond was concerned. The honourable member for Berowra said that Galston was not one of the sites considered.

That is not true. There is an impact statement on Galston. That will be included in the papers that will be tabled in due course. Galston was one of the sites which was considered.

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