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Tuesday, 29 April 1980
Page: 1879

Senator PETER BAUME (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. It concerns today's newspaper accounts of the meeting by Qantas Airways Ltd stewards through the agency of the Flight Stewards Association of Australia relating to incidents which have occurred with passengers being drunk on internationalflights. Will the Minister undertake to have obtained from Qantas a verification of the accuracy of the events as set out in the newspapers? Will he seek from Qantas information on any other events in which violence or abuse directed towards passengers or staff was related to alcohol abuse in flight? Will he ask Qantas to indicate whether it has any strategies, not only for minimising abuses but also for preventing abuses of the basic rights of air passengers to fly without threats of abuse or violence on our national carrier?

Senator CHANEY - I have seen the newspaper report out of which this question arises. I think Senator Baume is properly concerned about the comfort of passengers who have been inconvenienced by the alleged incidents. I undertake to seek from Qantas verification of the reports and to ask it to report on any other incidents which have not been complained of. I will seek information on whether Qantas has a strategy. The airline may be able to supplement the usual in-flight reading with copies of Senator Baume 's committee report on an intoxicated society, which I can assure honourable senators who have not read it is enough to put anyone off the grog forever.

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