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Tuesday, 25 March 1980
Page: 944

Senator MASON (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. It concerns the Ansett Airlines of Australia decision to buy American Boeing 767 aircraft while Trans-Australia Airlines has ordered the European Airbus. Has the Government started an investigation into the duplication of facilities, technical expertise and spare parts provision inevitably involved in this situation with a view to assessing the extent to which these factors will contribute to increases in air fares in Australia? If the Government has not started an investigation into that situation, when will such an investigation begin?

Senator CHANEY -As I understand it the present position is that Ansett Airlines of Australia has indicated to the Government that it wishes to proceed with the purchase of these aircraft. That matter is at present before the Minister for Transport. It is obviously an extremely important decision, quite apart from the matters raised by the honourable senator, which in themselves are important. There is the fact that we are making a break by possibly having different types of aircraft available to the two airlines. This has an implication for scheduling, which has been a matter of some concern to the travelling public for some years. I will ask the Minister for Transport to let me have a reply to the question asked by the honourable senator as soon as possible.

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