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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1982

Mr BUCHANAN (MCMILLAN, VICTORIA) - My question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, refers to the recently released statement by the Minister for Civil Aviation on the proposed visit to Australia of a Concorde supersonic airliner in June. In his statement the Minister said:

The Concorde could fly at supersonic speeds only over remote areas of Australia. The exact routing has yet to be determined.

Will the Minister please note that the flight of a Concorde supersonic airliner over any part of the land mass of Australia is not acceptable to any of the people underneath the flight path.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! the preface to the honourable member's question is far too long. I suggest that he ask his question.

Mr BUCHANAN - I am just coming to the question. Who will pay the compensation for the disruption of the environment, loss of use of land, and for shock and physical damage caused to the property and livestock of the people who are developing these remote areas?

Mr SWARTZ - I certainly had the opportunity to read the statement which had been put out by my colleague the Minister for Civil Aviation. It stated that approval would be given for the visit of a Concorde aircraft to Australia in, I think, June, but of course I cannot indicate to the House what routes could be flown at supersonic speed over the land mass of Australia. That would have to be worked out by the Department of Civil Aviation, and an indication of the routes would be given before the aircraft arrived in Australia. Of course, most of the operations of commercial supersonic aircraft, if eventually they go into commercial operation to and from Australia, will be across water, as far as Australia is concerned.

But I should like to draw attention to the fact that we talk about the operations of commercial supersonic aircraft as being something entirely new to Australia. It is a fact that military operations of a supersonic nature have taken place fairly extensively both for training purposes and also for moving aircraft out of Australia for operational purposes. There have been extensive operations of a supersonic nature over certain areas of Australia, as well as over water, although, of course, for obvious reasons I think that most of the operations take place in areas closest to the sea. But in view of the fact that the matter has been raised in this form by the honourable member, I will see that it is referred to my colleague in another place and that a suitable reply is obtained for him.

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