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Wednesday, 21 August 1996
Page: 2759

Senator CONROY(10.58 a.m.) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

I rise to speak on the conduct of the committee. I believe the conduct of the government was inappropriate when it used its numbers on the committee to stifle genuine attempts to hear the views of people, particularly in Sydney. The committee was quite direct in that it refused to go to Sydney to hear from residents there. It was of great concern to the Labor Party that there were a number of issues to do with airport noise and environmental concerns in and around Sydney airport. The subject of cross-ownership of a second airport in New South Wales was specifically denied to committee members. Offers to go to Perth or Brisbane were all available, but not to Sydney, and this was an attempt by the government—

Senator Bob Collins —Disgraceful.

Senator CONROY —A disgraceful attempt by the government, as Senator Collins has said, to misuse its numbers on the committee. I want to put on the record that it was very disappointing to be part of that process.