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Wednesday, 10 May 1972
Page: 2391

Mr Kennedy asked the Minister repre senting the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

(1)   In what year was the aerodrome at Bendigo first opened.

(2)   What bodies or authorities are responsible for financing and administering the aerodrome.

(3)   What sum has been spent by these bodies on the aerodrome since it was first opened.

(4)   What (a) amount and (b) percentage of the total expenses has been met by the Commonwealth.

(5)   What plans has the Government for upgrading and improving the aerodrome.

Mr Swartz - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   There is an Authorised Landing Area only at Bendigo. It is on Crown Land which the Department of Civil Aviation assisted the Bendigo City Council and neighbouring Shire Councils in selecting with a view to its ultimate development to licensing standards. It was first opened early in 1970.

(2)   The controlling authority is the Strathfield Shire Council on behalf of the Bendigo City Council and neighbouring Shire Councils. The Authorised Landing Area is within the Shire of Strathfield but it is understood that all Councils contribute to the capital and recurring costs.

(3)   The sum spent on the construction and maintenance of the Authorised Landing Area is unknown. It is suggested that the question should be referred to the Council of the Shire of Strathfield.

(4)   The Commonwealth has made no contribution. The Aerodrome Local Ownership scheme until recently has been confined to aerodromes of at least minimum licensing standard and, insofar as development grants are concerned, to aerodromes with airline or well established commuter services.

(5)   The Commonwealth Government has no plans for upgrading and improving the Authorised Landing Area at Bendigo which is a matter for Local Government initiative. However the Commonwealth Government has recently decided to extend the Aerodrome Local Ownership scheme to provide 50 per cent development grants to locally owned aerodromes which have no airline or commuter service but which could demonstrate the needs for an aerodrome to meet aero-medical and charter operations. This is conditional upon the Local Government organisation first having the land suitable for development of an aerodrome to minimum licensing standard. The Bendigo Authorised Landing Area appears to be in this category and it is understood that the Councils concerned are preparing a submission for Commonwealth assistance.

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