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Wednesday, 25 September 1974
Page: 1375

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) -On behalf of Senator Georges and myself I direct a question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate in his capacity as Minister representing the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs. In addition to what Australia has done already about Cypriot relief, what are the recent new decisions to accommodate the wishes of the Cypriot community in Australia as regards specific relief arrangements?

Senator MURPHY - I have some notes on this matter which have been supplied to me and I shall tell the honourable senator the gist of them. Qantas Airways Ltd has agreed to assist and will carry supplies free of charge on a space available basis, probably to Athens. It is understood that onward movement to Cyprus would be a matter for the community leaders. Qantas requires as soon as possible full details of the proposal, including the quantity and nature of goods proposed to be sent. I think this has already been indicated by the Minister for Transport. Representatives of the Greek and Greek-Cypriot community will be informed today. Some members of the community may have collected frozen foodstuffs to send to Cyprus. Both the Cyprus Government and the United Nations agency concerned with this relief have indicated that after cash, which remains the first priority, the need on Cyprus is for non-perishable foods, such as tinned meat and fish, as well as blankets, towels and clothing, especially for children. I understand that the offer of fresh or frozen meat poses serious problems of storage and distribution in the outlying areas of Cyprus where supplies are needed. Qantas may well also have difficulty in transporting frozen meat on scheduled flights. Members of the Greek and Cypriot communities would help Qantas considerably if they first established contact with Cypriot community committees which have been established to co-ordinate collection of supplies. Such committees have been set up in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

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