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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3110


Mr Morris asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 18 October 1977:

(   1 ) Further to his answer to question No. 1427 (Hansard, 30 November 1976, page 30 1 1 ), is he able to say if the interdepartmental inquiry into the future of air services in the Northern Territory has been completed.

(2)   If so, what were the results of the inquiry.

(3)   Will he table in the Parliament the report of the inquiry. If not, why not


Mr Nixon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: (1)Yes

(2)   and (3) The interdepartmental committee on air links in the area currently served by Connair Pry Ltd was established by the Government to look into the demand for air services in the area served by Connair and to recommend to me how that demand might best be satisfied. This the committee did, and its report to me was most comprehensive, providing a useful basis for the decisions in regard to future air services in the area which the Government has subsequently taken.

The honourable member will know that those decisions secure the continued existence of Connair through the grant of substantial Commonwealth financial assistance, so that it may continue as a viable enterprise to cater to the needs of the area it serves. He will know that the Government is also looking at the provision of alternative air services to those communities from which, for reasons of economy Connair may find it necessary to withdraw, and the provision by operators other than Connair of services which are not now operated but for which demand is apparent

It has, of course, been the Government's position that the people of remote areas of Australia should enjoy the best possible air services while keeping the cost to the taxpayer of subsidies at a reasonable level. The decisions which the Government has taken are consistent with that position and are designed to give it practical effect The report of the interdepartmental committee was a report to me, and I do not intend to table it in the Parliament The decisions of the Government, which are based to some extent on the report and the recommendations contained therein, are open to parliamentary scrutiny and judgment







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