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Monday, 17 September 1973
Page: 1039

Mr REYNOLDS (BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Civil Aviation. I regret that it relates to a much more restricted field than did the previous question. Is he aware that because of a strike by departmental radio and radar operators southbound aircraft which usually take off and land on the north-south runway at the Sydney (KingsfordSmith) Airport are presently being diverted over thickly populated areas in my electorate and other southern suburbs of Sydney instead of proceeding as normally across Botany Bay? Can he assure me, my constituents and others interested that the present air traffic route will be used only for the duration of the strike? Finally, can he indicate whether a settlement of the strike is likely in the near future?

Mr CHARLES JONES (NEWCASTLE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Transport) - Members of the Professional Radio Employees Institute of Australia have been on strike now for a little over a week. As a result of the dispute certain parts of the radar equipment at Mascot are now unserviceable, and this has resulted in delays with aircraft coming in to land, which in turn has had an effect on the outward movement of aircraft. The honourable member for Barton has raised a complaint about air traffic controllers using both runways. This situation has been brought about as a result of a stoppage, and some of the previous noise abatement procedures which have been used to attempt to reduce the noise nuisance over the built-up residential areas have had to be abandoned. But as soon as the dispute is finalised there will be a return to the noise abatement procedures that have been the custom for some considerable time.

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