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Tuesday, 29 August 1972
Page: 463

Senator MILLINER (QUEENSLAND) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Air. I draw the Minister's attention to an entry in the VIP aircraft manifests tabled last week relating to a flight from Canberra to Perth and return that was made on 18th May 1971. Can the Minister say whether the purpose of that flight was so that the VIP in question could visit his dentist in Perth? If the answer is in the affirmative, does the Minister consider this an appropriate reason to authorise the use of a BACIII VIP aircraft, which is the most expensive aircraft in the VIP fleet? If the answer is in the negative, will the Minister explain the reason for the use of a BACIII for the purpose of a visit to Perth and return to Canberra on the same day? In addition, is the Minister in a position to assure the Senate that no commercial flights were available to the Ministers and their fellow passengers who travelled from Canberra to Sydney and return on the same day?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I point out to the honourable senator that I am not the Minister representing the Minister for Air; I am the Minister for Air. In reply to a question which the honourable senator asked me at the commencement of this sessional period, in which he asked me to table a list of VIP flights made over a period of some 2 years, I put down a list of the nights that I had checked covering a period of some 18 months to 30th May this year. I indicated to the honourable senator and to the Senate that I hoped that in the very near future I could put down a further list of VIP flights made between 30th May and 17th August 1972. Apparently some commentators have overlooked this last portion of my answer.

The honourable senator now asks me to go back over that period and pick out a particular flight. I cannot do this because, as I have indicated previously, there are 3 approving authorities for VIP flights. I can recall only some of those flights for which I gave approval. I shall have a look at the honourable senator's question and if there is any further information I can add I shall give it to him.

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