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Wednesday, 7 November 1973
Page: 1638

Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice:


(1)   How many applications for resignations were received from Royal Australian Air Force officers, by rank, for each month of 1 972, up to 30 November.

(2)   How many applications were accepted.

Senator Bishop - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(   I ) and (2) For each month of 1972, up to 30 November the number of Air Force officers resignations submitted and accepted were:


Department of Aboriginal Affairs: Appointments

Senator Cavanagh - On 11 September 1973, Senator Georges asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs the following question without notice:

I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. I preface it by pointing out that advertisements have appeared in newspapers for staff as a result of upgrading the Office of Aboriginal Affairs to a Department.

(   1 ) Could the Minister advise me why the senior positions were not advertised?

(2)   Could he advise whether these senior positions have been filled and if they have been filled by whom and on whose authority have they been filled?


(3)   Any officer who considers that he is more entitled to a promotion to a vacant office than a provisional promotee may lodge an appeal against the selection as provided in Section SO of the Public Service Act 1922-1973. Appeals were lodged against the provisional promotions of L. A. J. Malone, F. H. Moy (30 August 1973), K. C. Martin and D. J. O'Rourke. The appeal against Mr Malone was decided in his favour while the remaining appeals have yet to be heard by the Promotions Appeals Committee.

Devonport Airport

Senator Devitt asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation the following question without notice on 27 September, 1973:

Is the Minister able to say whether any representations have been made recently for improving the facilities at the Devonport Airport terminal? Is he aware that the facilities at this terminal are now quite inadequate to meet the reasonable needs of the travelling public and substantially below those to be expected in an airport serving a developing region such as this? Will he ask the Minister for Civil Aviation whether he will indicate the prospects of having improvements carried out at the Devonport terminal in order to correct the existing situation so that the reasonable needs of the travelling public are met?

Senator Cavanagh - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

While the airport terminal at Devonport is not a modem terminal it is considered to be reasonably adequate for all but the occasional very high peak traffic periods.

As announced in the 1973 Budget it is Government policy to recover 80 per cent of civil aviation maintenance, operating and capital servicing costs. As part of this aim the airlines will be expected to pay rental on the terminal as a whole, including public areas, after allowance is made for revenue from business concessions within the terminal. Against that background it would not be possible to economically justify a new terminal at

(3)   Finally could he advise mc what rights other public servants have in this situation?

The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The senior positions were not advertised because the permanent head was satisfied that suitable officers were available for promotion, thus avoiding loss of time which would result from awaiting applications.

(2)   The Permanent Head has approved of provisional promotions to all of the Second Division positions in the Head Office of the Department

The following promotions have now been confirmed:

Devonport as a 100 per cent contribution by the Australian Government The airlines would not be able to afford it.

On the other hand, if the airport could be transferred to local ownership, as is again being considered by the local municipal authorities, and the new terminal constructed on a 50/30 basis by the Australian Government and those authorities, then it is distinctly possible that a new terminal could be provided. Local Government recurring costs could be offset by a small passenger surcharge and this, in turn, could permit economically acceptable terminal rentals to be charged the airlines.

Some 80 per cent of the aerodromes in Australia are now owned and operated by private interests or local governments and it is quite usual for local governments to levy passenger surcharges of between 40c and $ I to offset their annual commitments in the interests of the local communities.

Victorian Traffic Laws

Senator Poyser asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport the following question without notice on 27 September 1 973:

Is the Minister aware that the traffic laws now operating in Victoria are causing chaos among motorists and other road users? Will the Minister request the Minister for Transport to convene a meeting of the appropriate State Ministers to endeavour to have instituted a complete uniform code of traffic laws for the whole of Australia?

Senator Cavanagh - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The Australian Transport Advisory Council, which comprises Australian and State Transport Ministers has endorsed a National Road Traffic Code as the basis for uniform traffic laws. Presumably the matter raised by the honourable senator is in respect of the change in the intent of the stop sign in Victoria to mean 'slop and give way' and the introduction of a priority intersection sign. Council has already agreed that the stop sign should mean 'stop and give way' and at its next meeting on


2 November will consider amendments to the wording of the National Code.

Since this question, the Australian Government has announced its intention to establish a National Authority on Road Safety and Standards. Part of the function of the Authority will be to formulate, in consultation with the relevant State Authorities, proposals for uniform traffic codes.

Uniformity of traffic laws is a most important objective and will continue to be actively pursued through the appropriate channels available to the Australian Government.

Housing: Interest Rates

Senator Willesee -On 10 October 1973 Senator Little asked Senator Murphy a question without notice concerning the effect of increased interest rates on home buyers. The Treasurer has provided the following information in answer to the honourable senator's question:

A scheme for deductibility of mortgage interest payments for taxation purposes from 1 July 1974 is under study and will come forward for Government consideration in good time for any legislation to be brought down in the Autumn Parliamentary Session.

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