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Wednesday, 21 October 1964

Senator MURPHY (New South Wales) . - I wish to refer to a matter under Division No. 140 - Civil Aviation Facilities. I am concerned with the maintenance and operation of these facilities which is a matter of safety and administration. The Minister for Civil Aviation is already aware of the circumstances to which I propose to refer. They concern the international airport at Mascot. I have noticed over a somewhat lengthy period whenever I have had occasion to visit the upstairs restaurant and lounge that the fire escape has been partially blocked by crates of bottles and so forth. As the terminal is in the nature of a fire trap itself, this state of affairs is extremely dangerous. About six weeks ago I mentioned the matter to the Minister when a deputation waited upon him and he undertook to have something done about it. I understand from a subsequent conversation with the Minister that he immediately gave instructions for the matter to be looked into. Several days after that, and again about a week later still, I had occasion to visit the place, on one of those occasions being in the compang of Mr. James, the honorable member for Hunter in the House of Representatives. The only difference I could see was that some lumber had been added to the crates of bottles.

I do not know whether these obstructions have been removed by now, but at least a dangerous situation existed for a lengthy period of time. This indicates a lack of supervision of the fire inspection services. I should like to know whether the situation has been attended to, why these matters are not properly supervised, and why the Minister's instructions were not attended to expeditiously.

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