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Thursday, 18 February 1971

Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - Yes, I am aware of these complaints and I am aware of the circumstances. I have been to the Kingsford-Smith international airport on a great number of occasions by myself checking on these various things, lt is perfectly true, in my experience, that in the middle of summer, on a humid day particularly, the arrival area is hot. When the airport terminal was designed it was a recommendation of the Public Works Committee of the Parliament - I think honourable senators will find that it seems to be a general recommendation - that air conditioning be not provided at terminals. As far as T can tell from my investigations the capital cost of installing air conditioning is at least $lm. I am still trying to ascertain the exact operating figure but it is said to be quite high. Principally it is a problem caused by Sydney's humidity at a certain time of the year but I. would not beg the question. I have found it to be uncomfortably hot on certain days and certain evenings. I am looking into the matter and I will do what I can, keeping in mind the ability of the Government to spend money.

As far as trolleys are concerned and bringing luggage from the outer ends of the arrival fingers, I have talked to the Department of Civil Aviation people there and I am given to understand that the operating companies concerned are going to do something about this. I will get more information on that point for the honourable senator. 1 have also checked while there on the availability of taxis. 1 have found that this is a mixed bag. There are times when there are plenty of taxis and times when there are few. I have been in touch with the State Government about this because primarily it is part of its function and 1 have been told that the taxis will not go there unless the business is offering. Further work needs to be done on this point and that work is taking place. As for the facilities referred to, one complaint I received came from a lady who had to wait for 3 hours for someone coming in. She complained of nothing to do. I find it hard to know what I could do about this. 1 wonder whether 1 should have a moving picture show out there but 1 do not quite see how I could.

Senator Murphy - That is not a reasonable approach, Mr Minister.

Senator COTTON - J think it is quite reasonable. If the Leader of the Opposition were to go out there himself he would find that there are things to do if one has to wait. 1 have had to wait there. I will try' to find out what else 1 can do. However,- the Leader of the Opposition should not accuse me of being unreasonable; I am certainly not being unreasonable.

Senator Murphy - What about places for people to sit while they are waiting?

Senator COTTON - it is full of sofas, benches and chairs.

Senator Murphy - Nonsense.

Senator COTTON - If the Leader of the Opposition does not believe me he should go out and have a look for himself.

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