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Tuesday, 26 March 1968

Dr MACKAY (Evans) - by leave- I too, would like to extend sympathy to the relatives of those who lost their lives and also to the journalists, some of whom were very badly maimed by this accident. However, I cannot accept the attitude that has been taken by the honourable member for Newcastle (Mr Charles Jones) in virtually censuring the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Swartz) for not giving adequate notice of this interim statement that has been made. 1 believe that the House is grateful to the Minister for coming forward immediately, indicating that an inquiry is proceeding, and giving us a good deal of insight into the kind of inquiry it is. I feel that it is quite uncalled for to indicate, without stating a reason, that there is a necessity for a public inquiry. A demand for a public inquiry sometimes comes with it a suggestion of improper practice or motive.

I have looked through the report into the Winton disaster in Queensland and I must say that I am tremendously impressed with the thoroughness of the examination that was carried out and with the thoroughness of the report. The Minister has come into the House at the first available opportunity and has given an up to the moment report. I believe that the kind of attack that has been made on him as a result of his actions is thoroughly unjustified.

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