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Friday, 12 June 1970

Mr SPEAKER -Order! ls leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr BUCHANAN - The report outlines the history of the inquiry which will serve to remind the House that much of the inquiry remained incomplete when the present Committee was appointed in November 1969. Since then a considerable amount of evidence has been taken and the Committee has undertaken many inspections. lt is considered desirable to report on some aspects of the inquiry at this stage, both because aspects of the problem of aircraft noise need urgent attention and because the Committee is able to conclude some sections of the inquiry. Consequently some important recommendations aimed at alleviating aspects of the aircraft noise problem are placed before you in this interim report.

We have endeavoured to lay down guiding principles for use, generally, in Australia and the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. Specific problem areas are considered so as to arrive at guidelines for policy in mitigating some of the most annoying effects of exposure to aircraft noise. For some of the terms of reference the report is final though there are others on which evidence is incomplete and it is in respect of these that the Committee proposes to report and to conclude its inquiry by the end of this calendar year. The inquiry had its genesis in the conflict of interests arising from the needs of a progressively developing air transport industry and increasing urbanisation. Reactions to aircraft noise exposure are manifested in complaints and protests from persons in areas adjacent to mainland city airports where a high intensity of jet aircraft movement is experienced.

The operating need and procedures of this industry give rise to a noise nuisance which may prejudice the beneficial uses of otherwise desirable neighbourhoods. The aircraft industry serves large centres of population for whom ils activities have become an undisputed necessity, but the progressive introduction of the jet engined aircraft has resulted in a steadily increasing noise nuisance. The Committee foresees problems of greater magnitude in the decade ahead unless immediate and concerted action is taken effectively to control land use in airport neighbourhoods. The Committee has studied overseas developments which indicate the gravity of future problems for Australia in the absence of remedial action. The Committee believes that the solution is a matter of comprehensive urban planning to ensure continued benefit from a thriving air transport industry whilst still having due regard to the well being and welfare of the community which it serves.

The Committee wishes to pay a tribute to the co-operation given by officers of the Department of Civil Aviation, the Department of Air and airline companies. At this stage I wish to say that the success of the inquiry so far has been enhanced by the ever courteous and willing response by officers of both these Departments and companies to the Committee's very demanding requests for information and assistance. I personally am greatly indebted to the ever willing help given by the Clerk to the Committee Mr Bruce Chapman, the Research Officer Mr Ken Hale and our stenographer Mrs Ashurst in the very arduous task of preparing the material for this report and express my thanks to them. 1 also thank the honourable members for St George (Mr Morrison) and KingsfordSmith (Mr Lionel Bowen) without whose co-operation in the intensive revision of the terms of this report it could not have been completed in time for tabling to-day.

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