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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1897

Senator MARRIOTT (TASMANIA) - I naturally join with other senators and you, Mr President, in welcoming back Senator Bishop, the Minister for Repatriation. I direct a question to him in his capacity as Minister assisting the Minister for Defence. Will he make inquiries, and advise the Senate when the information is available, as to whether it is true, as indicated in the Launceston 'Examiner' of Monday, 19 November, that the Prime Minister travelled, presumably by Royal Australian Air Force VIP aircraft, on Saturday, 1 7 November, from Adelaide to Sydney to record his vote at the State election and continued to Launceston, arriving one hour late for his appointment at an agricultural show? What was the cost to the taxpayer of this excursion, if it took place? Are not postal votes available to New South Wales electors who wake up in time?

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) -I do not know the details of the case upon which Senator Marriott builds what seems to me to be a criticism of the Prime Minister. I will find out for him, certainly, As everybody knows, the Prime Minister has very heavy commitments in all States. Like, for example, the Leader of the Opposition in the other place, he frequently uses VIP aircraft. I will get and give to the Senate the precise reasons for the visits back and forth.

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