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Thursday, 4 June 1970

Mr SWARTZ - The report referred to by the honourable member has attracted some attention, although 1 have not seen it myself. I understand that my colleague, the Minister for Civil Aviation in another place, has taken the matter up with the Australian National Airlines Commission. The Commission has indicated, 1 believe, that it did not make such a statement and, therefore, the statement really is without foundation. However, I think it should be pointed out too that Trans-Australia Airlines at the moment does not have a licence to operate intrastate services in Western Australia. The only application that is before the Government or the Department of Civil Aviation for consideration is, I believe, an application by TAA to operate a service between Perth and Darwin.

The same situation applies now as I indicated in this House last year when J was administering the Civil Aviation portfolio. That is that when the present contract wilh MacRobertson-Miller Airlines Ltd is terminated, consideration will be given to the application by TAA. However, having said that, I can assure the House that the importance of Alice Springs is recognised fully by the 2 airlines not only for the part that it is playing in the development of the Centre but also for the tremendous potential that it has in the tourist field. This has been recognised by the new jet services that have been commenced there and the additional services that are being provided. I certainly will draw to the attention of my colleague, the Minister for Civil Aviation, the observations made by the honourable member to see whether these services can be improved.

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