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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1001

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask a question of the Minister for Civil Aviation and refer him to a question relating to the Concorde aircraft which I asked yesterday and which appears on page 908 of Hansard. I do not believe the Minister replied satisfactorily to the question. In a Press release dated 22nd March concerning the possible atmospheric effects of supersonic, aircraft the Minister stated that the Government had always emphasised that it would make any decision on the Concorde or supersonic jet aircraft in the light of all the expert evidence available. I ask the Minister: Is it not a fact that the pioneering work of Dr H. Johnstone of Berkeley University, the decision of the Canadian Parliament to prohibit supersonic flights and a recent scientific conference in Massachusetts, United States of America, have all contradicted the conclusions of the Australian Academy of Science in relation to the Concorde aircraft? I appreciate that today a question was asked of the Minister, by Senator Young from South Australia. But I say: How can these views be reconciled with the reply given by the Minister yesterday that the matter of the projected Concorde visit is, as stated by the Minister: 'still under careful and detailed study' when he has already decided to allow the Concorde to visit Australia? Can I take it from the reply that he has given to Senator Young today that the Concorde will be permitted to produce sonic booms during its visit to Australia?

Senator COTTON - No, the honourable senator cannot. He may take it that the Australian Government and the Department of Civil Aviation have a very high regard for the Australian Academy of Science. They are not able to establish the same high regard for Professor Johnson; neither, apparently, is the Academy of Science. To the extent that the honourable senator feels not as satisfied as he normally would expect, his question yesterday and my answer will be studied and, as always, if my answer needs to be amplified, such amplification will be provided to him.

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