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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 259

Mr SPEAKER - Order! I do not know what line the honourable member for Newcastle is going to take. The establishment of a shipping line is getting fairly wide of the subject matter of the Bill.

Mr CHARLES JONES - I am not talking about a shipping line in Australia.

Mr SPEAKER - Nor in Papua New Guinea. This Bill is a simple one, as the honourable member said, and it is fairly confined.

Mr CHARLES JONES - I was trying to relate the use of a shipping line and a shipping service to the training of crews. Sufficient crews have not been trained. Ships are trading between New Guinea, Australia and overseas ports. This indicates that there is any amount of work for indigenous seamen and yet the Government has not done anything about it. The report on Papua New Guinea for 1970-71 discloses that 784 overseas ships visited the Territory of Papua New Guinea.

Mr Nixon - I think it might be better for you to debate that in the Committee stage.

Mr CHARLES JONES - I would be happy to debate it on that occasion, but I am trying to point out to the Minister that so many things should have been done by the Government in the Territory on the recommendations of the United Nations group which carried out this transport survey. If all of the things which it recommended, or some of the important things, had been carried out at least the Government would not have been in the position today in which it is not able to hand over completely to the Territory the responsibility of looking after its own lighthouses, lightships and navigational aids. It does not apply only in this field but also to civil aviation. The hour is late and it is obvious that the Minister for Shipping and Transport (Mr Nixon) would not like me to tell him of all the faults, not only of his own Department but also of the Department of Civil Aviation and his ministerial colleagues who have not carried out their responsibility of training the indigenous population of Papua New Guinea.

I indicate that the Opposition supports the measure and at the same time trusts that the Government will be prepared to examine the recommendations of this report more deeply than it has done in the past and to make sure that the people of Papua New Guinea are trained to a sufficient level so that they can accept their responsibility in the technical fields of aviation and maritime activities, because these are 2 fields which are important to the Territory.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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