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Wednesday, 14 May 1980
Page: 2254


Senator McLaren asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 20 March 1980:

(   1 ) Did the Minister for Transport, the Hon. P. J. Nixon, MP, when making statements indicating that grants would be available to the South Australian Outback Development Trust under the Local Ownership Scheme for the development of all-weather airstrips at Coober Pedy and Marree, South Australia. If so, when is it anticipated that finance will be made available by the Federal Government to enable the work to be carried out.

(2   ) Will urgent consideration be given to this matter to enable the work to be completed before the winter of I 980.


Senator Chaney - The Minister for Transport has provided me with the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) The previous Minister for Transport, the Hon. P. J. Nixon, MP, did indicate that grants were to be made available for the development of all-weather airstrips at Coober Pedy and Marree through Aerodrome Local Ownership Plan (ALOP) development grants to the South Australian Outback Development Trust. The statement was made with the proviso that the approval of funds is subject to my Department's administrative requirements being met, as the SAODT does not meet the usual requirements as a local authority eligible to receive grants. The ALOP is administered jointly by the Minister for Transport and Finance and negotiations for the acceptance of the SAODT as a local authority are currently taking place between their Departments and aerodrome development works must await the outcome of these negotiations.

Funds have been set aside in the I 979/80 financial year for aerodrome works at Coober Pedy. Whilst every effort is being made for the earliest completion of work it is extremely unlikely that any works will be completed this financial year. However, it is proposed that works will be undertaken early in the 1980/81 financial year.

Works at Marree will not proceed in the 1980/81 financial year. In agreement with the SAODT, the Department of Transport considers Marree to be of lower priority than Coober Pedy. Works at Marree are therefore proposed to be deferred by at least twelve months.

(2)   As indicated above, urgent consideration is being given to the matter. Works will be carried out to the timing also given above, certainly they will not be completed as soon as before winter this year.







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