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Tuesday, 16 November 1976

Mr CHARLES JONES -This agreement is between the Australian Government and the Papua New Guinea Government for the setting up of an airline called Air Niugini. The Papua

New Guinea Government has 60 per cent participation while Ansett Transport Industries has 16 per cent, Qantas has 12 per cent and TAA has 12 per cent. What concerns me is the pressure that the Papua New Guinea Government is applying on this Government to allow it to buy out the TAA and Qantas participation. The Australian Government in this agreement made a very substantial contribution to civil aviation in Papua New Guinea at a cost of about $40m to the Australian taxpayer. When that agreement was entered into both parties said they were satisfied with it and signed it, yet we find that a very short time after the agreement was signed pressure is being put on this weak-kneed, yellow- bellied Government to agree to Qantas and TAA being pulled out of the agreement. I am concerned in all these negotiations at the way the private airlines operator in Australia is using his position to duchess, and I use the term 'duchess' in the way in which we know it to be used, certain leading people in Papua New Guinea. For example, a particular person was taken through South-East Asia some years ago to duchess him and get him on-side. Even as late as this yearbetween 1 and 6 November- the same person was here in Australia. He is a very important member of the Papua New Guinea Parliament but he was in Australia not on Government business. He was put up at the holiday home of the head of Ansett Transport Industries at a place called Mount Elisa. What for? For one obvious reason it seems to me. He was duchessed, to get favourable preferential treatment for Ansett Transport Industries.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Order!The honourable member's time has expired.

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