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Minister procrastinates on east-west aircraft imports

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N ational Party o f Australia



Bruce Lloyd, Shadow Minister for Aviation, today called on the Minister for Aviation, the Hon. Peter Morris, to make a decision on East-West Airlines' application to import aircraft.

"The Ministerial power to control the importation of large passenger aircraft under the Airlines Equipment Act, is the Federal Labor Government's major lever for restricting competition between the airlines within Australia."

The Minister has had the East-West application for the two jet aircraft - a F28 and a Boeing 737 - since March this year. Too . facilitate Ministerial approval, East-West separated the application so that a F28 "no-frills" air service in Eastern Australia could be approved before that of the large capacity Boeing.

"However, after almost six months, East-West to date has not received any decision, although Ansett and TAA received very prompt approval for their requests for new aircraft."

East-West is losing a substantial sum of money whilst the Minister procrastinates on this application. His recent pronouncements on introducing a more commercial approach to the aviation industry cannot be taken seriously when his inexcusable

lack of action is causing Australia's third largest airline to, day after day continue losing money.

"The Minister is also restricting the choice of types of air services available to the Australian public."

"Not only does the Minister appear to be favouring the two major airlines, he also unfairly criticised East-West in Northern Tasmania recently for not commencing a new service when his own vacillation with the applications for additional aircraft has hindered East-West's ability to provide that service," Bruce Lloyd claimed.

"I call on the Minister for Aviation to either promptly approve the aircraft purchase, or stand condemned for restricting the Australian public's choice, particularly the family reunion and holiday/tourist travellers who wish to fly as cheaply as

possible," he concluded.

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