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Thursday, 24 May 1973
Page: 2627

Mr CHARLES JONES (Newcastle) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - I move:

Omit proposed section 19G, substitute the following section: 19g. Upon Papua New Guinea becoming an independent country and the Commonwealth and the Government of that country entering into arrangements for the transport, for reward, by the Commission of passengers and goods by air between places in that country or between places in that country and places outside Australia and that country, the Commission may transport passengers and goods in accordance wilh those arrangements'.

As the honourable member for Gippsland (Mr Nixon) just stated, a satisfactory arrangement has been entered into between the Chief Minister for Papua New Guinea, the Minister for Transport in Papua New Guinea, the Minister for External Territories (Mr Morrison) and myself. That happened last Friday. There was complete understanding. The wording of the present Bill is not so good as could be expected. I accept the criticism levelled by the Opposition during the second reading debate about the use of the word 'if. lt did give the wrong impression. There is no intention on the part of this Government to delay independence for Papua New Guinea. The word 'if was used at the time, but the amendment I have moved meets the requirements of the Bill, the Opposition and the Government.

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