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Tuesday, 12 November 1974
Page: 2207


Senator DEVITT (TASMANIA) -I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. The Minister may recall that on, I think, 22 October last I directed to him a question concerning rescue and firefighting services at the Wynyard and Devonport airports in Tasmania. Has he any further information concerning the provision of rescue and firefighting services, particularly since there are apprehensions in these regions as to the sufficiency and availability of these services during activities at the airports?


Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) -The honourable senator's question was referred to the Minister for Transport who has provided me with some further information. The present position is that rescue and firefighting services are manned at the Devonport airport from 0945 hours to 1745 hours daily and at the Wynyard airport from 0930 hours to 1730 hours daily. That is a continuous 8-hour shift at each airport, and it covers the majority of regular public transport operations. Until 6 weeks ago the services were manned outside those hours, but with the introduction of the economy measures the period of operation of the services was reduced to 8 hours in order to save the payment of overtime and penalty rates and to cover the time when the majority of the public transport operations took place. All such services throughout Australia are currently undergoing review as part of the Government's cost recovery program. Decisions will not be made on such matters as hours of operation of such services or the withdrawal of such services until the Minister has received recommendations from his Department. The services provided at the Devonport and Wynyard airports are included in this review. The Senate will appreciate that the Minister is not in a position to decide whether there will be any variations in the hours of operation of these services at airports until he has received a report from the appropriate investigation authorities.







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