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Thursday, 16 September 1971
Page: 1399

Mr ARMITAGE (CHIFLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I wish to address a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, but I cannot see him in the House.

Mr SPEAKER -The Minister is not in the House.

Mr McMahon - If the honourable member would hold his question for a few moments, the Minister will be here shortly.

Mr Whitlam - The Minister is alighting now.

Mr ARMITAGE - No doubt the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation will be aware that the interdepartmental committee set up by the Government to recommend the siting of the second international airport for the Sydney region recommended 4 locations as being suitable, namely, Duffy's Forest, Richmond, Somersby and Wattamolla. No doubt he will be aware also that the Government has rejected the committee's recommendation in respect of Duffy's Forest and Wattamolla. Could the honourable gentleman advise the House of the grounds upon which the Government rejected the committee's recommendation in respect of the Duffy's Forest site?

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - I think that first of all I should draw the attention of the Leader of the Opposition to the fact that I was in the House some time before he was this morning and, in my brief absence a moment ago, was attending to House duties. But in response to the question asked by the honourable member, I do not know whether he was in the House last night when a debate on a statement which 1 made on behalf of the Minister for Civil Aviation proceeded until 11 o'clock. Many Opposition speakers then discussed in detail the matters that were referred to in the report. The whole matter is being referred for further investigation to a committee consisting of Commonwealth and New South Wales State representatives. All the various points that were covered in the report, including the investigation of any other matters which the proposed committee considers desirable, will be taken into account. As to the exact details in relation to one site of the 4 sites which remained when the report had been executed I have not this information available. If the honourable member desires to know the reasons, I can obtain them for him from the Minister. But I think that he would do better to restrain himself until the matter is considered by the proposed joint committee.

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