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Thursday, 11 October 1973
Page: 1933


Mr ARMITAGE (CHIFLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Transport and Minister for Civil Aviation. Is it a fact that Pioneer Tourist Coaches Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Ansett Transport Industries, is the only passenger bus operator permitted to transport passengers between Sydney and the Australian Capital Territory? If so, who is responsible for this restrictive practice and what can be done to give Reg Ansett - a champion of free enterprise - a little more competition in this industry?


Mr CHARLES JONES - I understand that Pioneer Tourist Coaches Pty Ltd, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Ansett Transport Industries, has a monopoly of the Sydney to Canberra bus services-


Mr Armitage - That is the way it would like to have it with the airways.


Mr CHARLES JONES - That is the way it would like to have it, but it cannot. My understanding of the position is that on interstate transport no licensing is necessary. I was of the impression that the Australian Capital Territory was in a similar category to the States but I have since found out from my inquiries into this matter that the High Court in the past has ruled that the ACT is not a State and therefore the protection of section 92 of the Constitution does not prevail. So the New South Wales Government's policy of granting only one licence is paramount and we can do nothing about it. We could issue a licence for travel to the border of the ACT but that licence would have no effect in New South Wales. I think it is about time the NSW Government provided some competition on the Sydney to Canberra run and treated it as an interstate journey, permitting free and open competition, which Ansett always espouses and which that Government allegedly supports.







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