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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2540

Senator WOOD (QUEENSLAND) - Does the Leader of the Government in the Senate consider that there is any advantage in our international airline, Qantas Airways Ltd, being a member of the International Air Transport Association? Is it not a fact that Qantas is the headquarters of IATA in Australia? Is he aware that this dictatorial and autocratic organisation shows no control over its own members? Further, is he aware that while a set price fare arrangement for the round trip between Australia and Europe has been made the air travel industry is in a shambles because of snide operators who are members of IATA and who give different fares to different people? Does he know that it is common knowledge in the tourist industry that these fares may range from as low as $500 or $550? As this indicates what a great mess the tourist industry is in, does he think that IATA is a worthwhile organisation to which Australia 's national airline should belong?

Senator MURPHY -I am aware that there has been a great deal of criticism of the International Air Transport Association. I recall that some criticism was voiced at a meeting of one of the Estimates Committees at which a former Minister for Civil Aviation was present. Criticism has been expressed on both sides of this chamber about the operations of IATA and the adverse effects of operations carried out by members of that organisation on the fare structures. I suppose it would be fair to say that at this stage the travel industry seems to be in much the same state as the electrical appliance industry was in some years ago. I think that it would be proper to ask the Minister for Transport to give a reply to the honourable senator on the question of whether there would be any advantage from membership of IATA to match the disadvantages referred to by the honourable senator.

Senator Wood - What about the Minister for Tourism and Recreation?

Senator MURPHY -And the Minister for Tourism and Recreation. I will pass the honourable senator's question on to them to see whether they can answer the very substantial criticisms which have been raised by him and by other people.

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