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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 667

Mr Leo McLeay (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The announcement yesterday by the Minister for Transport (Mr Hunt) regarding the re-equipment program of Ansett Airlines of Australia was a decision which will subject the residents of my electorate and indeed of all those electorates surrounding the Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport to an unprecedented increase in noise pollution for the next 1 5 years at least. According to the Sydney Morning Herald of Tuesday, the Government, at the insistence of the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Anthony) and no doubt with the active participation of the National Country Party Minister for Transport, has allowed itself to be blackmailed into withholding approval for TransAustralia Airlines to proceed with the $250m European Airbus purchase. Aviation experts around the world agree that the A300 Airbus is one of the quietest aircraft in the world. Honourable members will recall that the purpose of the

Government's approval to Ansett Airlines to purchase these 18 old technology jets from the American Boeing company was to replace the obsolete DC9 fleet that Ansett and TAA at present run. The Boeing 737 aircraft which Ansett is purchasing were first introduced in early 1971. They are acknowledged as one of the noisiest aircraft at present flying. Mr Anthony hopes that by delaying a decision on a TAA purchase--

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Millar)Order!The honourable member will use the Deputy Prime Minister's proper title.

Mr Leo McLeay (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Deputy Prime Minister hopes that by delaying a decision on the TAA purchase the Government will be able to influence the European Economic Community to set more liberal trade rules on sheep meat exports. In succumbing to this blatant National Country Party pressure, the Government has shown callous disregard for the public health of the people living in the suburbs surrounding Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport. I am pleased that the honourable member for Barton (Mr Bradfield) and the honourable member for St George (Mr Neil) are in the chamber. I would like to know what they have to say about this decision of the Government. Why have they not spoken up on behalf of their constituents? Once again they have failed the people whom they represent.

On a number of occasions I have pointed out in this Parliament that authoritative people have said and reports have shown conclusively that noise pollution leads to stress and other related illnesses, and it has been shown that that has been a factor in the breakdown of a number of community health problems around Sydney Airport. The people of my electorate and the surrounding electorates have suffered long enough. For years they have been subjected to harassment from low flying noisy aircraft. The Airbus was the only ray of hope that these people had of a reduction in the level of noise and thus the level of stress under which they must conduct their daily lives. The European Airbus is a much quieter aircraft than the Boeing 737 aircraft purchased by Ansett. It is much quieter than both the Boeing 727 and Douglas DC9 aircraft presently operated by both internal airlines. Its use offers some hope of relief from the increasing noise pollution around Sydney Airport.

Forecasts provided by the Bureau of Transport Economics for the Major Airport Needs of Sydney study show that over the next five years there will be an increase of 335 interstate movements per week at Sydney Airport. That is an average of 48 extra movements per day. One has also to take into account the substitution effect, in that some of the aircraft that will be flying then will not be just small single and twin engine aircraft but the larger, noisy aircraft that the Government has allowed Ansett to buy. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard a table provided by the Bureau of Transport Economics that supports this contention.. I have sought the approval of the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr Macphee).

Leave granted.

The table read as follows -



Mr Leo McLeay (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - While I am on the subject of the MANS report, I point out to honourable members that that report firmly recommended that airlines should be required to employ advances in aircraft technology and design to reduct noise factors. Public meetings of residents around the airport were told that the Government would be doing this and that the increased aircraft movements would be offset by the use of quieter aircraft. That has not occurred. Honourable members will see from the evidence that it is absolutely imperative that TAA proceeds with the purchase of the Airbus aircraft. There must be more appropriate responses by the Government to the EEC restrictions on sheep meat exports than this scandalous stand and deliver tactic adopted by the National Country Party. For the sake of the health of the people of my electorate, I press the Government to go ahead as soon as possible with the purchase of the European Airbus.

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