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Wednesday, 11 September 1996
Page: 3303

Senator CALVERT(5.00 p.m.) —Before the parliamentary secretary speaks, I might be able to help a little in this matter. In my former role as the mayor of Clarence, or the warden of Clarence as it was known in those days, I was also a member of the mayoral aviation council.

At that time, under the previous government, where local government areas had control over airports, the situation was a one-off situation between the Commonwealth and each airport. It was done on the basis of the best deal you could do with the local government of the day. We had the situation in Melbourne in relation to the Tullamarine airport, for instance, where the Bulla shire at one end of the airport was receiving $20,000 or $30,000 in lieu of rates. At the other end they did a much better deal with the Sunshine council, or whatever it was.

As a result of the concerns of all the mayors, including the mayor of Belmont in Western Australia and the mayor of Darwin, the mayoral aviation council got a commitment from then Senator Gareth Evans, which is what the parliamentary secretary has been referring to, that the arrangement be the same for all airports.

That particular assurance was given. It was never given for anything other than service rates, the buildings and the things you could make money out of. There were never, under any government previously—I might be wrong, but I am not aware—any rates paid on the actual runways themselves and the land owned by the Commonwealth. They were paid on sewerage, water, the value of buildings and the other things they made money out of. I think that is how it has been working.