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Thursday, 13 September 1973
Page: 1022

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I wish to address myself to the Brisbane airport. I have done the right thing in advising the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Charles Jones) that I would be speaking on a subject that could be of interest to him I wish to speak not so much about the Brisbane airport as about what the Government is not doing about the Brisbane airport. My interest in this subject extends back to the late 1960s when I entered this Parliament, appeared before the House of Representatives Select Committee on Aircraft Noise and presented to it in Brisbane a case on behalf of the residents of my electorate. I underlined the noise being made by the increasing number of large aeroplanes. The people of Brisbane, were, to say the least, disappointed with the Coombs report, the document titled Review of Continuing Expenditure Policies of the Previous Government'. We regret that the Brisbane airport was ever included in the survey conducted by the learned Dr Coombs and his committee. The report suggests that the work required on the Brisbane airport could be deferred for an indefinite period or a specific period. The Coombs report recites some facts which indicate the good faith of the previous Government in respect of building a new Brisbane airport.

Mr Speaker,there is little point in my continuing thus, because this very speech is recorded at page 923 of yesterday's Hansard for 12 September. The reason I started off in this manner this evening was that when I presented a plea on behalf of the citizens of Brisbane last evening history was created in this Parliament in that at that time not one Minister was in this chamber to listen to what was being said. Earlier in the night I advised the Minister for Civil Aviation that I was to speak on a subject of interest to him. Earlier this year - in April or May - the Minister for Civil Aviation admonished me for supposedly making no attempt to advise him that I was to speak on a subject relating to his portfolio. With great indignation he spoke after I spoke and, to say the least, chastised me.

The only thing I wish to retract from what I said last night is my remark that the honourable member for Lilley (Mr Doyle) had done nothing. He told me this evening that he had done something, that he had worried the' Minister. Obviously his so called worrying of the Minister has had no effect. I regard the Minister's absence from this place again this evening as a display of gross discourtesy to the people of Brisbane. As I pointed out yesterday, the Minister seems to be running helter skelter from the possibility of debating publicly or in this Parliament his portfolio as it relates to civil aviation.

Mr McVeigh - He is frightened of you.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The honourable member for Darling Downs, a fellow Queenslander, interjects to say that he is frightened. That is a most appropriate inter.jection. If what the honourable member for Lilley has told me is correct, that the Government is doing something about the Brisbane airport and that the Coomb's report is not correct, I want to know whether the Minister for Civil Aviation has the courage to come into this place and make an announcement. We in the Opposition are sick and tired of Ministers resorting to Press conferences and statements outside this Parliament which preclude us - Her Majesty's Opposition, the Prime Minister's Opposition or the President's Opposition - from having a chance to criticise.

Again on behalf of the people of Brisbane I challenge the Minister for Civil Aviation to come into this House and make a statement on what is proposed for the Brisbane airport. I repeat my comments last night when I referred to the Coomb's report which clearly outltined that the previous Liberal-Country Party Government had intentions - admitted by the Coomb's report - of continuing, moving along the road or speeding up the building of the Brisbane airport. My remarks are on page 923 of yesterday's Hansard. I said that the Labor Party's report stated that the Liberal-Country Party Government would be spending $lm between 1973 and 1974, SI 3m between 1974 and 1975, and SI 8m between 1975 and 1976. Everyone in Brisbane believes that this project has been shelved. If it has not been shelved, why is the Minister running away from an opportunity to come into this chamber and tell us what is going on?

The Brisbane suburbs of Hamilton, Ascot, Meeandah, Eagle Farm, Whinstanes, Hendra, Norman Park in my electorate, Bulimba in my electorate and Balmoral in my electorate are continually shaken by planes flying overhead at low level. I pointed out in this chamber last night that the city of Brisbane is being held back because of the restrictions that must be placed on the height of buildings as the approach from Moreton Bay is unsuitable as a landing direction for these big aeroplanes on a windy day. The present Minister stated in the past, when he was in Opposition, that it was high time something was done about Brisbane.

Mr McLeay - He had it arranged.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - He had it arranged. Even the honourable member for

Boothby who is from South Australia noticed. He remembers the Minister's speeches in this House and the promises which have been made to the people of Queensland. But the facts of life are that unless something happens soon the people of Queensland will recall the short period when Mr Jones was Minister for Civil Aviation as one during which things in Brisbane ground to a halt and nothing happened. I speak most sincerely when I state my belief that this is just not good enough. We were promised, after years of planning by the previous Government, that a new airport for Brisbane would soon be under way. The previous Government actually came forward with a plan, and the new Government came in and scrapped it. This is not good enough for the schools that are affected and for the people who live under the flight path. One has only to be in those homes to realise the terrible noise that these aeroplanes create as they pass overhead.

Mr Speaker,I know that you are not familiar with Brisbane but I want to tell you that my office is on the 12th floor of the new Australian Government building in Brisbane and the planes coming from Sydney seem to come straight at my office from the far distance, suddenly turn to the right and land at the Brisbane airport. In recent weeks there has been a great increase in the number of planes coming in from the Ascot-Hamilton area for landing. Therefore life for those people who live in that area is even more unbearable. I believe that it is a gross discourtesy on the part of the Minister for Civil Aviation that on 2 occasions in a row he has refused to come into the Parliament. So much for open government. It is just a myth which was sold prior to the last election. Now that the Labor Party is in power it is shutting the books and not telling anybody anything. The only consolation is that the Minister for the Capital Territory and Minister for the Northern Territory (Mr Enderby) and the Minister for Health (Dr Everingham) are in the House tonight. I hope that these 2 gentlemen will recognise that we in Brisbane are fair dinkum about this. We will no longer be sold a pup. I hope that they will go to their Cabinet meeting next week - even to Caucus because obviously that is where things happen these days - and have the courage to raise this matter and to say: Cameron is upset. It's time you did something'.

Mr ENDERBY(Australian Capital Territory - Minister for the Capital Territory and

Minister for the Northern Territory) (10.33) - I thank the honourable member for Griffith (Mr Donald Cameron) for the implied aspects of his remarks. May I put this thought to him in reply: We on this side of the House do believe in open government. We do our very best to practise it. I imagine that in the 9 or 10 months that the Labor Party has been in government we have released more -

Mr Bury - Press statements.

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