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Wednesday, 25 November 1959

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - I am aware that a number of complaints have been made by citizens and bodies in the Rockhampton district about the closing of the Air Training Corps Flight there. As the honorable member knows, it was proposed to close this flight over a year ago. At his own request, a further period was allowed for the flight to establish that it was being used to a reasonable extent. The facts are that, with an establishment of 60, the number enlisted has rarely been above 50, and the average attendance has been as low as 25 and never higher than 30 over the last two months. The Air Training Corps throughout Australia is strictly limited by the amount of the financial vote that can be devoted to it. I have received applications from all over the country for the establishment of new flights and the enlargement of existing ones, and I do not feel justified in allowing to continue in existence a flight of which full use is not being made. I have made the most careful inquiries into this matter, and I regret to have to tell the honorable member that I think the decision must be maintained and that the flight must be closed.

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