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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
Page: 737

Mr COHEN (ROBERTSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the attention of the Minister for Transport been drawn to a statement by the former Minister for Civil Aviation, Senator Cotton, that the Liberal Party favoured Somersby as a site for the second international airport? Will the Minister inform the House whether the residents of Galston are especially privileged in comparison with the residents of the Gosford-Wyong area and whether we have on the other side of the House a bunch of phoney environmentalists who planned to site the second airport at Somersby because they considered Robertson to be a safe Labor seat?

Mr CHARLES JONES - It is perfectly true that the Opposition, when it was in government, and the present New South Wales Liberal-Country Party Government have on every occasion on which they have dealt with a site for a second Sydney airport taken into consideration the political party of the member representing the electorate where the site was located. For example, they excluded Towra Point for a very simple reason and that was, as I said in answer to an earlier question, that, without any technical advice whatsoever and in an endeavour to save the 3 Liberal Federal members in Cook, Barton and St. George, they selected Somersby as a possible site because Mr Barry Cohen, the Labor member, was the representative for that area. They excluded Duffy's Forest because it was in a Liberal electorate. We should not forget that the honourable member for Mackellar, Mr Wentworth, originally supported Duffy's Forest and then went cold on it, for reasons best known to himself. The whole question of a site for a second Sydney airport has been a political issue all the way through. The Opposition, when it was in government, sat on the matter for years and failed to make a decision. We, as a government, have a responsibility in this field, and we are endeavouring to make a considered decision to ensure that Sydney has a second airport which will meet its requirements.

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