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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2687

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - No one is more surprised than I that I am on my feet now talking about the Brisbane Airport because I had hoped, from assurances given recently by the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Charles Jones), that things were under way. We have just heard a speech by the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Doyle) and I cannot help but think he protesteth too much. I have never seen the document to which he referred so his speech today came as a surprise to me. He presents himself in this Parliament as a champion of the Brisbane Airport - a man whose . interest goes back 3i years prior to his entry to this Parliament. It is an established fact that the honourable member for Lilley was in 1969, when he appeared before the committee to which he alluded, a candidate for the Australian Labor Party. He was simply trying to make cheap capital by indicating an interest in the Brisbane Airport. But until I started a campaign, of a like that has never been witnessed in this Parliament, about last August he remained silent in the Parliament on the subject of the Brisbane Airport.

I am pleased that for the second occasion we have the presence of the worthy Minister for Civil Aviation in the chamber because he has let pass another one of my speeches without coming into the chamber and endeavouring to counter my claims. The truth is that when the Budget came out this year the Coombs Committee report had recommended that the plans for the future of the Brisbane Airport should be amongst those plans which should be scrapped to enable the Government to channel money in other directions. Night after night I stood in this Parliament and pleaded that the Minister for Civil Aviation should come into the chamber and explain what was happening with the Brisbane Airport.

Mr MacKellar - I remember it.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Everyone remembers it. After about 2 months the Minister came into the chamber and said that money for the Brisbane Airport was provided in the estimates for the Department of Services and Property. I asked where in those estimates and the Minister said: 'It is there; it is not very easy to see but I can assure you that it is there'. If that money had been initially supplied or appropriated for Brisbane Airport, I wish somebody would explain to me why the Government of today was prepared to accept an editorial published in the Brisbane 'CourierMail' attacking it, and a denouncement by the Labor Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Alderman Clem Jones, who said - I do not have the clipping with me but I remember it well - "I am disappointed'. For 2 months the Labor Government was prepared to stand by and not to fight off my attacks on behalf of the people of Brisbane, the condemnation by the Labor Lord Mayor, the editorial in the Brisbane 'Courier-Mail' and even the utterances of the honourable member for Lilley and the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh), both of whom showed interest when I commenced my campaign in earnest.

The honourable member for Lilley said that I had spoken only twice on this matter in 7 years. I will not dispute that, but the facts are that the Brisbane Airport was another which required attention outside as well as inside this House. I remember going to the previous Prime Minister and telling him that as far as

I was concerned it was time, even if he had to go and pick up a shovel or if he could not do so for the Minister for Civil Aviation to pick up a shovel, to turn the first sod because we were getting sick and tired of waiting for the new airport.

In past Hansards there are quotes of the present Minister for Civil Aviation stating how poorly Brisbane had been treated. He said these things while he was a back bencher in the Opposition. The Coombs report stated clearly that the previous Government planned to spend $lm this year, $13m next year, $18m the year after and $130m thereafter or the Brisbane Airport. This, in itself, is an admission by a committe which the Labor Government set up that the previous Government - the Libera] Government - at last was on the way. I have never praised the previous Government for the manner in which the Brisbane Airport project was tackled. I believe that the new Government, if it had been allowed to get away with it, would have scrapped plans made by the previous Government for the future of the Brisbane Airport.

The honourable member for Lilley decries a campaign - I do not know anything about the campaign - but it is an indication that the people of Brisbane are awakening and expressing a willingness to stand up and fight. I do not necessarily agree that the private life of the honourable member for Lilley should be invaded but if those persons who feel strongly about this matter were to ring him his telephone would never stop ringing. Of the 13 unlucky suburbs of Brisbane which contain some 50,000 affected persons, quite a number are in the electorate of Griffith. The poor people in the suburbs of Norman Park, Bulimba, Balmoral and Hawthorne were on the brink of relief when along came the new Government which was prepared to scrap the airport plans and until I mounted a campaign the honourable member for Lilley was strangely silent. Those persons who want to judge the correctness or the fairness of who is responsible for attaining a new airport for Brisbane should read Hansard. They will see that almost every speech made by the honourable member for Lilley followed a speech made by me. I remember those unpleasant evenings when I was subjected to a 2-pronged attack by the honourable member for Bowman and the honourable member for Lilley, in my earnestness to try to get a new Brisbane airport I was subjected to an exploitation of cheap politics.

All I wanted was for the Minister for Civil Aviation to come into the chamber and explain the situation but for 2 months he did not. He refused. It is a good thing that the people of Brisbane are talcing an interest in this matter. I hope that the Minister, who is in the chamber now, will listen to the honourable member for Lilley, the honourable member for Bowman and the honourable member for Griffith, regardless of their political guernseys and will realise that with the development of noisy aircraft in recent years the people of Brisbane deserve some relief.

My friend, the honourable member for Petrie (Mr Cooke) has asked questions in this House about the siting of another airport whether it would be near Caboolture and where was the appropriation in the estimates for this year? This is a case of where the Government has not put its money, in conformity with its utterances of recent months. The Government came here as a government beating the drum of progress but a scrutiny of the appropriations early in the piece showed that the Brisbane Airport had been given a kiss of death. I can understand the honourable member for Lilley reacting but he has been nothing but a reactor. He has reacted to all my speeches and now he is reacting to a Mr Langton who, according to him, is a member of the Liberal Party. I do not know Mr Langton. I am not saying he does not exist but 3 cheers to him and 3 cheers to all those people in Brisbane who are at last indicating an interest in their own cause.

As I have said previously in this Parliament, when the Liberal-Country Party government returns to power after the next election if it acts in the same manner as the present Government has acted towards the people of Brisbane in their desire for a new airport, I will be just as- vociferous and will attack and condemn it just as strongly. This is not a party matter; it is a matter of progress for the people of Brisbane. Just because there are only half a dozen Federal seats in the city of Brisbane its airport does not deserve to be scrubbed off the list of priorities. We have waited long enough. I frankly admit that it has been a wait contributed to by the previous Government but we are sick and tired of waiting and it is time we got back on the road to progress once again.

Mr DOYLE(Lilley)- Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Berinson)Order!Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr DOYLE - Yes. The silent member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron) stated that I had taken no interest in the Brisbane Airport until he spoke. That is completely incorrect and he knows it.

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