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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1520

Senator COLSTON —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Minister for Aviation. What was the Government contribution to the provision of the ACTION bus service in Canberra in the 1983-84 financial year? How can the Government justify this level of subsidy to residents of Canberra while at the same time withdrawing a $1.35m yearly subsidy of western Queensland air services?

Senator RYAN —I have been provided, on behalf of the Minister for Transport and Minister for Aviation, with some information with regard to the withdrawal of the subsidy from the airline services to western Queensland. I understand that Trans Australia Airlines has stated that it will continue to provide the services with a view to introducing a smaller and more economic aircraft type this year. As to the relationship between that decision of the Minister and the level of subsidy provided to ACTION bus transport in the Australian Capital Territory via the portfolio of Territories, I shall have to seek further information on that from Mr Scholes's Department of Territories and provide that information to Senator Colston. But I would point out that the portfolios through which those two subsidies are administered are different and making comparisons between them is perhaps a little difficult to do in any meaningful way. However, I will seek information from Mr Scholes about the subsidy to Action buses and see what explanation he has to give.