Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 391

(Question No. 178)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 28 March 1985:

(1) Is the new Darwin International Airport completion date to be postponed, given speculation to that effect.

(2) Is the Minister for Aviation concerned at the standard of facilities at both the present Darwin and Alice Springs Airports, through which a great volume of international visitors now travel, given the view recently expressed by the Treasurer, Mr Keating, that `many people abroad fail to distinguish between the States and Territories of Australia'.

(3) Is the Minister concerned that those international travellers, who have passed through Darwin Airport and described it as worse than most third world countries, may be leaving Australia with an unfavourable view of our facilities as a result of the Commonwealth apparently failing to come to grips with upgrading these airport facilities.

(4) What is the expected completion date for the new Darwin International Airport and when does the Commonwealth intend to accept its responsibility for upgrading the Alice Springs Airport, given the huge amount of funds that have been invested in international standard accommodation to encourage tourists to the Northern Territory.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Government has recently decided to defer further work on the redevelopment of civil aviation facilities at Darwin Airport pending a reappraisal of the project, expected to take some six months.

(2) I am concerned at the standard of facilities at Darwin and I have asked my Department to identify any urgent works which may be necessary to enable the existing terminal to continue in operation until new facilities are completed. I am also concerned with the standard of facilities at Alice Springs Airport and discussions are continuing between the Northern Territory Government, Alice Springs Town Council and my Department, with a view to Alice Springs Airport entering the Aerodrome Local Ownership Plan (ALOP). The purpose of discussions is to determine the scope of works necessary to enable Alice Springs Aerodrome to enter the ALOP on a transfer arrangement acceptable to all parties. Once agreement has been obtained, new facilities can be programmed and could be expected to become operational three to four years after transfer to ALOP.

(3) I am concerned at the impression created by the airport facilities at Darwin. The Government is still committed to upgrading passenger facilities. The reappraisal of the project is designed to ensure that this upgrading is carried out in the most cost effective way.

(4) The completion date for the redevelopment of Darwin Airport depends on the outcome of the reappraisal investigations. Likewise the completion date for any improvements at Alice Springs Airport will depend on the outcome of discussions concerning the airport entering the ALOP.