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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1389

Senator CHILDS —My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation and it follows on from an approach made by Air New Zealand to be allowed to operate on domestic airline routes in Australia. In view of the Opposition's stated policy of total deregulation in the airline industry, will the Minister outline this Government's response to the New Zealand approach?

Senator GIETZELT —The closer economic relations agreement that exists between Australia and New Zealand does not extend to such issues as the question raised by Senator Childs; that is, whether Australia would permit Air New Zealand to operate a domestic air service in Australia. The answer to that question is no. The Opposition, of course, is in favour of total deregulation of the airline industry. In those circumstances, if that policy were endorsed by a future government of the conservatives, those opposite would permit-I gather from their attitude to total deregulation of the air industry-countries and companies like Air New Zealand to operate in competition with our existing airlines in Australia which are governed by the two-airline agreement. However, the attitude of our Government is that we are not prepared to allow Air New Zealand to operate domestic air services in Australia. If we had to, we would use controls over the import of aircraft to achieve those ends.