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Thursday, 16 March 2000
Page: 14908

Mr ANDERSON (3:30 PM) —I seek to add to an answer I gave to a question from the member for Batman in question time. The member for Batman sought to imply that the airport that is being progressively upgraded in Rockhampton would not be available for international services. I have advice to say that Airservices did indeed reduce the category of the airport from category 6 to category 5 on 31 January. This involves a reduction in manning by three, and there will be one less fire tender at the airport. Airservices have further advised that, when airlines develop firm plans to operate expanded services to Rockhampton, they will upgrade the level of the fire service accordingly.

Mr SPEAKER —I warn the member for Melbourne Ports.

Mr ANDERSON —It gives me the opportunity in relative silence to repeat the point. Airservices, at short notice, regularly upgrade the fire service at the airport during military exercises. It regularly happens. In conclusion, the opposition is always embarrassed when it is exposed. The member for Batman is, quite simply, dead wrong. When international airlines develop firm plans to use Rockhampton Airport, Airservices will supply the category of fire service that is necessary to support them. I will take steps to ensure that the people of Capricornia are informed of my commitment that international services be able to access the airport when it is required. It is quite obvious that those opposite are simply trying to engage in a bit of cheap political point scoring.