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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1012

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

(1)   When did the Commonwealth alter its policy of accepting total responsibility for the provision of night lighting of country aerodromes to one ofincluding night lighting as an item which would be entitled to development grants under the aerodrome local ownership scheme.

(2)   Which local councils, since the alteration in policy, have had to meet 50 per cent of the cost of providing night lighting facilities at aerodromes in their areas.

(3)   How much has been paid by, the Commonwealth to each of the councils mentioned in (2) for night lighting purposes, and how much has each of these councils had to meet.

(4)   Have any local councils indicated that because of these arrangements they have been unable to meet their share of the cost in providing night lighting facilities; if so, which councils.

(5)   When night lighting is installed under the Aerodrome Local. Ownership Scheme, is the work carried out by officers and employees of the Department or is it done by private contractors.

Senator COTTON - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1)   Extension of the Aerodrame Local Ownership Plan to include airfield lighting in the list of facilities qualifying for Commonwealth development grants came into effect in October 1971 insofar as aerodromes with regular air services are concerned and in March 1972 for general aviation aerodromes.

(2)   The only Local Authority that has taken advantage of this change in policy to date is

Roebourne Shire Council for the provision of facilities at Dampier aerodrome. There are several under discussion.

(3)   The total cost of the Dampier project was $19,545.58. Fifty per cent of this cost was contributed by the Commonwealth. (4)The Nungan Municipal Council has indicated that it is concerned at having to meet 50 per cent of the cost of providing airfield lighting at its aerodromes. The Department of Civil Aviation is currently discussing both the technical and economic aspects of the project with the Council.

(5)   One of the basic principles of the Local Ownership Plan is that the Local Authority should accept primary responsibility for arranging all development and maintenance works involved with the Departments of Civil Aviation and Works providing technical assistance and advice where required. It is envisaged that, in most cases, the Local Authority, will have little difficulty in handling their lighting works, either through their own resources or with the aid of locally available contractors.

In the case of Dampier, presumably because of its remoteness, it was found impossible to arrange a satisfactory installation contract within the time available. My Department therefore undertook to carry out this work with its own staff on the understanding that 50 per cent of the cost would be provided by the Council.

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