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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1915

Mr BARNARD (BASS, TASMANIA) - Is the Minister for Supply aware of growing discontent among employees in the aircraft industry about future employment prospects and the future organisation of the industry? Is the Government yet in a position to resolve this uncertainty, particularly over the proposed merger of the Government Aircraft Factories and the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation? Have inspections been made of GAF equipment by senior staff of the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation? Has correspondence been circulated to staff of the Government Aircraft Factories indicating the inclusion of the GAF factory at Avalon in the proposed merger? Finally, are Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation engine and helicopter operations involved in merger proposals?

Mr GARLAND (CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Supply) - From time to time announcements have been made about continuing talks with a view to rationalising the aircraft industry at Fishermen's Bend, where the Government Aircraft Factories'premises are adjacent to the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation properties. Those discussions are being carried on with some sense of urgency, but it is expected that nothing will result for many months yet. I answered a similar question to this one not so long ago. I understand that there is a similar question on notice although I believe that the honourable gentleman's question put different emphasis on some aspects. I think it has to be under-, stood that this is a very complex matter. There are many features that need to be integrated. However only this morning, in speaking with officers of my Department, I asked for some report to be given to me on the current situation, and I will communicate that information, when it is available, to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and those other honourable members who I know are interested in this matter.

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