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Tuesday, 26 October 1971
Page: 2558

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice: ((1) Will the Minister table, in the Parliament or the Library, copies of the Agreement between the Commonwealth and MacRobertson Miller Airline Services which expired on 30th September 1971.

(2)   Has Trans-Australia Airlines applied for (a) a Perth-Darwin Licence since 18th December 1968 (Hansard 7.4.70, page 781) or (b) a SydneyAlice Springs-Port Hedland Licence (Hansard 4.6.70, page 2942), if so with what result.

Mr Swartz - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   A copy of the Agreement between the Commonwealth and MacRobertson Miller Airline Services which expired on 30th September 1971 has been tabled in the Library. I would remind the Honourable Member that on 22nd May 1968 in my then capacity as Minister for Civil Aviation I made a copy of the Agreement available to him and received a polite acknowledgement from the Honourable Member.

By an exchange of correspondence in November 1968 the Agreement was varied so as to relieve the Commonwealth of its obligation to determine the overall subsidy, 'having regard to the need to maintain a reasonable return on the capital invested in the company' (Clause 5 (i) ), and in lieu of this obligation the Commonwealth agreed to subsidise agreed unprofitable developmental services approved by the Minister in accordance with the standard principles applied by the Commonwealth in respect of other unprofitable developmental services.

As I explained in the House on 30th September 1971, no subsidy has been paid on the major trunk route between Perth and Darwin since 1st

July 1968, and since January 1969, the only service in respect of which subsidy has been paid to MMA is the developmental air service operating in the Kimberleys.It is proposed to offer to MMA to extend the subsidy agreement to 30th June 1972 in respect of the Kimberley services only.

(2)   (a) and (b) On 7th August 1969 TransAustralia Airlines applied for a licence authorising operations between Perth and Darwin with authoried stopping places at Mt Tom Price, Dampier, Port Hedland, Derby, and Kununurra. The Commission was advised on 26th September 1969 that the Government decision was that no action should be taken in this matter for the present and tbe application was refused.

On 8th April 1970, TAA submitted that approval should be given for TAA to operate to the North West area of Western Australia and into the Northern Territory but specific proposals were not made at this time.

On 26th January 1971, TAA proposed that it be authorised to supply capacity equivalent to ons F28 aircraft and commence operating services Perth-Port Hedland-Darwin-Gove with stops at Paraburdoo and Kununurra.

On 11th February 1971 TAA applied for a Perth-Port Hedland-Darwin licence. This application was renewed on 17th August 1971 and TAA has been advised that the matter is under active consideration by the Government.

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