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Tuesday, 22 August 1972
Page: 466

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts. Does the Minister recall my serious warnings in the Parliament on 29th March and those of the honourable member for Oxley and myself on 19th April about the activities of Travel House of Australia Pty Ltd? Does the Minister recall his Press release of 19th July in which it is stated that some States were prepared to enact legislation to control the activities of travel agents but that others were not convinced that legislation was necessary? Will the Minister tell the House which States were prepared to enact the legislation and whether the rest still require convincing?

Finally, does the Minister consider speeches by private members a complete waste of time and can he advance any theory as to why only one newspaper, the now non-existent 'Sunday Australian', ran the story against a company which indulged in very extensive newspaper advertising?

Mr HOWSON (CASEY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Environment, Aborigines and the Arts) - I remember quite clearly the speech made by the honourable member for Griffith. There is nobody more anxious than I to see enacted legislation controlling the activities of travel agents. However, in spite of the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition last week it was made clear to me by a number of States that in order to ensure effective legislation it was necessary to have legislation covering not only international and i interstate activities but also intrastate activities. Therefore, to ensure that the matter was properly dealt with it was important to have model legislation that was available in all States. One of the major, States saying that this was necessary was South. Australia. As a result model legislation was drawn up by the Victorian Minister. It was presented to the Tourist Ministers Council in April of this year. Four States agreed that this legislation should be proceeded -with but 2 States stood out and said at thai time that they thought it was not necessary. Those States happened to be Western Australia and Tasmania. Following a meeting last Friday all States are now agreed :. that legislation should be prepared. I understand that Victoria, Queensland, South , Australia and New South Wales will be going ahead very shortly and that Western Australia and Tasmania are in the process, of preparing recommendations for their, governments. I expect considerable progress to be made before the end of the year and that it will be of interest to the honourable member for Griffith and other honourable members in this House.

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