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Monday, 19 October 1970

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - As the honourable member is aware, a committee of this House was established to investigate airport noise problems. An interim report has already been submitted by that committee. A*i interim report had been submitted by a previous committee of this Parliament which had been set up in the previous Parliament. I understand that when the final report is received by the Minister for Civil Aviation it will receive full consideration not only by the Minister but by the Department. Any recommendation which the Minister makes will be considered by the Government at that time. The question of alternative sites for the airport at Sydney is one which has been under consideration for some time, in the sense not of an alternative site but of an additional site that may be required principally for international operations in the future.

An interdepartmental committee was set up nearly 2 years ago to investigate possible sites where an additional airport to service Sydney and surrounding districts could be provided in the future. I understand that the interdepartmental committee has concluded its investigations, and it is possible that a report will be submitted to the Minister in the near future. When the report is submitted to the Minister he undoubtedly will have it examined, and the matter will be brought before the Government at that time. The question in relation to an alternative to Sydney airport is one which had been considered when the committee was extablished. But it was explained at that time that the site at Mascot had been established for so long, so much had been spent there and it has become such an integral part of the transport system in the city, involving as it does the connection with other transport systems there, particularly shipping, road and rail, that it would not be possible to shift from that site and that it would continue to be used and it would reach its maximum, somewhere about the mid-1980s. An additional site would be required to supplement the facilities at that time.

Subsequent to that, whatever the report is of the Select Committee on Aircraft Noise of this House or the committee investigating the second site for an airport for Sydney, these points will be taken into consideration. Whether there is to be a mixture of international and domestic facilities at one or other of the airports, or whether there will be a concentration of international facilities at one or the other, are points which will be considered when these 2 reports of the committees are received.

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