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Wednesday, 21 October 1964

Senator MARRIOTT (Tasmania) . - Mr. Temporary Chairman, I will try to follow the example set by the ladies and be brief. You have allowed a wide field of debate on this important department and I think you were right in doing so. Senator Kennelly has referred to the increase in air fares. Naturally everyone who travels by air would like cheaper fares. However, we have had an increase in air fares. What I want the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Henty) to do is to approach the two major airline companies with a request to cut out what I call this stupid nuisance of ground transport tickets. I would like to see a very slight increase in the air fares and have these ground transport tickets cut out because they cause delay at each airport. So far as Tasmania is concerned, with the introduction of Electra services in the near future, passengers will be spending much longer on the ground than they spend in the air getting from Melbourne to Hobart. Everything should be done by the airlines to speed the passenger and his luggage from the airport to the city terminal. All of us travel a lot and we know the stupid delays that are caused because bus tickets have to be bought. Passengers get on to the bus and the driver comes along and says, " Tickets please ". A passenger who has not a ticket has to rush back to the office at the terminal, buy a ticket and then rejoin the bus.


Is the honorable senator relating this to any item in the estimates?

Senator MARRIOTT - Yes. I am relating it to Division No. 140 - Civil Aviation Facilities. The particular item relates to air route and airway facilities. The bus ticket system is stupid because the airlines are losing money, first by printing the tickets and secondly by employing staff to issue and collect them. In addition, the passengers are being delayed. In Tasmania the airlines are losing more money than in other cities because we have a State Government which exercises price control. The airports at Launceston and Hobart are further from the city than are the airports in most other capital cities, other than Adelaide, but because of price control the charge is only 3s. In the other cities it is 5s. I repeat that this ticket system is a loss to the airways, an inconvenience to the public and is lowering the standard of air travel facilities. I believe that if the Minister were to approach the two civil airlines on this matter common sense might be heeded and the travelling public would be helped.

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