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Tuesday, 1 October 1974
Page: 1572


Senator Davidson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

Has the Government received details of a South Australian report which alleges that concrete railway bridges in the north-east of the State, which carry the Indian Pacific Express are faulty; if so, what was the Australian Government's response to the allegations and what is its interest in this matter?


Senator Cavanagh - The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Details of these press reports have been received. Although the bridges were built under the Rail Standardisation Program funded by the Australian Government, responsibility for design and construction rested entirely with South Australian Railways.

Maintenance of the safety of the bridges referred to is also the responsibility of the South Australian Government. The South Australian Government has not communicated with me on this matter, nor would I expect them to. The Australian Government has no reason to doubt that all bridges on this standard gauge railway are maintained in a safe condition.

Country Aerodromes (Question No. 1S2)


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -Brockman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

(   1 ) Has the Federal Government advised the Government of Western Australia that it wants to relinquish ownership of nineteen airfields in that State: If so, why.

(2)   When was the State Government first advised that the Federal Government was considering abandoning the airfields.

(3)   It the Federal Government's decision is implemented will the upkeep of an alternative airport to Perth become the full responsibility of a Local Government authority.


Senator Cavanagh - The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) It has been agreed at departmental levels that Australian and State representatives should consider all of the factors involved in the progressive transfer of the remaining aerodromes serving country areas which are under the control of the Australian Government. This is in accordance with the Government's Aerodrome Local Ownership policy and can be shown to have distinct economic advantages to all concerned in most instances.

(2)   Aerodrome local ownership has been Australian Government policy since 1 958.

(3)   Any requirement for facilities at an airport which is beyond local need, e.g. upgrading an airport to serve as an alternate to Penh, is an Australian Government responsibility in its entirety.







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