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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1954

Senator RAE - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation. Is it a fact that an air traffic controller has been stationed at Whitemark on Flinders Island for many years to ensure the safety of commercial, charter and private aircraft which use that airport? Is it a fact that the week before last he was withdrawn and not replaced? Is it a fact that last week a Friendship aircraft carrying a load of passengers and a Service aircraft nearly collided? Is it also a fact that radio contact between aircraft on the ground at Whitemark and the air traffic controller at Launceston airport is difficult, if not impossible? Is it a fact that pilots must now try to ensure that flight conditions are safe, without the aid of local weather reports and even without information as to local aircraft movements? In the interests of safety, will the Minister take steps to have his colleague the Minister for Civil Aviation immediately restore the air traffic controller to Whitemark?

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - All parts of the question were prefaced with the phrase 'is it a fact?' I know nothing of the incidents. I will refer the question to the Minister for his consideration.

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