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Wednesday, 17 November 1993
Page: 3019

Senator REID —My question is directed to the Minister for Transport and Communications. How many airports are there in Australia which receive international passenger flights?

Senator COLLINS —I do not know.

Senator Hill —That is the first time I have ever heard you say that!

Senator COLLINS —No, it is not actually. I can remember saying it on more than one occasion in question time. I am never afraid to say that I do not know if I do not know. From time to time I designate a range of airports as international airports—for example, the Broome airport and other airports. In fact, I think I have designated two or three in the last 12 months.

Senator Robert Ray —Can I guess the supplementary?

Senator COLLINS —I know what the supplementary question will be. The answer is: 25 minutes flying time from Sydney.

   These airports are designated as international airports in order for them to take charter international flights. So we would have to distinguish between the mainstream airports around Australia that regularly receive international flights and those that are designated international airports, because there are a great many designated international airports that do not receive regular RPT and international services. I will provide that information to Senator Reid.

Senator REID —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. I could not bring myself to disappoint the minister. I will be happy to have the answer in the form of two lists; that will be very useful. At the same time could the minister let me know which other countries do not have an international airport at their national capital?

Senator COLLINS —I will not be tied down to this, but I think there would not be too many that had major international airports within 25 minutes flying time of the capital and extensive commuter services between the two airports that operate about 20 times a day. But I will find out the answer to that question for Senator Reid.