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Friday, 25 June 1926

Senator GRANT (New South Wales) . - I should like to know whether the Government has considered the advisability of providing a seaplane mail service between the mainland and Tasmania. As honorable senators know, Tasmania suffers considerable inconvenience in the event of the steamer services between that State and the mainland being interrupted. I do not suggest that a passenger air .service should be inaugurated; but in these progressive times I think that it is desirable that the mails to and from Tasmania should be carried by seaplane. In other parts of the Commonwealth, where the carrying of mails by motor car would probably be cheaper, aeroplane mail services exist, and are giving satisfaction. At one time travelling by air involved considerable risk, but to-day it is probably net more dangerous than transport by motor car or railway. The cost of constructing the aeroplanes necessary for a mail service to Tasmania would not be great. A few passengers might also be carried.

Senator Pearce - Evidently the honorable senator wants to avoid payment of the 2s. per head landing charge imposed by- Tasmania.

Senator GRANT - In the event of passengers being conveyed to Tasmania by aeroplanes, I do not think that the people of that State would be so foolish as to insist upon the infamous poll tax of 2s. per head, which they impose upon people who arrive at Launceston or Burnie by steamer from the mainland. A seaplane service could land them at Hobart. I consider that the time is opportune to establish an air mail service with Tasmania, and I should like to know whether the Government contemplates doing anything in that direction.

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