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Wednesday, 7 December 1960

Mr FREETH (Forrest) (Minister for the Interior and Minister for Works) . - I move -

That in accordance with the provisions of the Public Works Committee Act 1913-1960, it is expedient to carry out the following proposed work which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works and on which the committee has duly reported to this House: - Construction of aprons, roads, car parks and engineering services for the proposed new terminal building at Perth airport, Western Australia; also the extension of north-south runway, and widening, strengthening and extension of associated taxiways.

The proposals provide for apron development to accommodate the aircraft which will use the proposed new terminal building and for the roads, car parks, and engineering services required to service this building. They provide also for an extension to the north-south runway and the widening, strengthening and lengthening of its associated taxiways to make the airfield adequate to handle the types of aircraft now being used at Perth on domestic and international routes.

In its report to this House on 24th August, 1960, the Public Works Committee not only approved of the proposed extension to the north-south runway to 6,500 feet - this length being adequate for all domestic and international aircraft using the airport - but the committee went further, and recommended the expenditure of an additional £120,000 to increase the length of the northsouth runway to 7,450 feet, which it was felt would be sufficient to promote the airport to large jet standards. If, however, the airworthiness tests of the Boeing 707-1 38B revealed that the runway should be extended to 7,950 feet, the committee felt that the expenditure of a further £40,000 would be justified.

The Government is currently examining these additional recommendations. Honorable members will realize that they went somewhat beyond the proposed work submitted to the committee and they materially effect general policy with regard to airport development throughout Australia. I had delayed the submission of this resolution to the House in the hope that consideration of the major problem would be sufficiently advanced to announce some decision on the Perth airport aspect. But while I would hope that this will not be long delayed, work in relation to the new terminal building and the target date of the 1962 Empire and Commonwealth Games requires the approval of this House to the actual work proposed to the committee, and which it has recommended, before the end of this session.

I therefore commend the resolution to the House so that this work may proceed.

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