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Wednesday, 19 September 1973
Page: 1299

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - The honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh) has just claimed that at last my interest has been awakened. He made reference before to the honourable member for Darling Downs (Mr McVeigh) and talked about his own seniority in the House. Allow me to remind the honourable member that before he was even chosen as a candidate for his Party I was appearing before the House of Representatives Select Committee on Aircraft Noise making representations on behalf of my constituents about aircraft noise. If the honourable member for Bowman had made a detailed study of my past performances in the House on this subject I am quite certain that he would have found other references in Hansard besides simply one on civil-

Mr Keogh - I rise on a point of order.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Sit down and be quiet. I let you talk without interrupting. So sit down will you?

Mr Keogh - I must rise and take this point of order, Mr Speaker. The honourable member is reflecting on the staff of the Parliamentary Library. They looked up the records for me and they searched through all the honourable member's speeches.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! No point of order is involved.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - I do not reflect on the staff of the Library. Perhaps the instructions to them on how to look were not clearly defined. The honourable member for Lilley (Mr Doyle) last night and the honourable member for Bowman again tonight referred to the inactivity of the previous Government. The truth is that aeroplanes have become noisy in recent years. The advent of the big jet has changed the situation from that which existed some years ago. The old DC3s and DC4s did not pose very much of a problem at all, but the advent of the Jumbo, the 707 and the 727 has. It was when I first came into this Parliament that those big jets were coming on to the routes and there were but a few of them in Australia. I do not heap praise upon the previous Government for what it did or did not do, and I am consistent in my criticism; but the truth is that the Coombs report - a document compiled on instructions from the Australian Labor Party - states that the Liberal-Country Party Government was to start spending money this year on a new airport for Brisbane. This is true.

Mr Cooke - It states that on page 149.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - That is stated on page 149, as the honourable member for Petrie reminds me. I thank the honourable member. I remind you, Mr Speaker, in the absence of the wayward Minister, the missing Minister who does not have the courage to come into this House but who sends his little henchmen along to try to speak on his behalf, that it was the honourable member for Petrie who was confronted with an announcement in huge headlines in March in the 'Australian' stating: 'SI 50m planned for Queensland Airport'. The 'Courier-Mail' carried this headline:

First steps'-

It was a wake up because it had those words in inverted commas - for new airport planned.

The honourable member for Petrie then wrote to the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Charles Jones) and asked: 'Where is it going to be?' The Minister answered him in an evasive manner. He said: 'We really do not know.' Perhaps the honourable member for Petrie can speak on this on another night and reinforce me.

If I can refer again to last year or the year before, I clearly recall going to the then Prime Minister, the right honourable member for Lowe (Mr McMahon), and saying: 'Sir, if I am asked what should be done for Queensland and what should be given a very high priority I would nominate the resiting of our airport.' The previous honourable member for Lilley was the Minister for Housing. It is very unfair of the honourable member for Bowman to castigate him, because it is difficult for Ministers to talk on portfolios outside their area of responsibility. But I assure the House with all the honesty and sincerity that I can conjure up at this moment that we attempted to get a new airport for Brisbane. What has happened? The idea appears to have been scrapped. I refer to an editorial in the Courier-Mail' on 31 August, which is headed New Airport is Essential'. If the honourable member thinks I have jets on the brain he wants to listen to what it states. It states:

It would be intolerable for Brisbane if the Federal Government were to accept the Coombs Task Force Report favouring deferral of the updating of Brisbane Airport.

A clear statement of the Government's intentions on the airport is needed to satisfy Brisbane and the local residents affected by the project but still uncertain of the future of their land and homes.

The uproar in Sydney over the Galston airport plan is an example of what can happen without adequately announced long-range intentions.

How we listened to the Minister's spokesmen. What a piteous stage we have reached when the Minister for Civil Aviation will not speak in this Parliament about his intentions for north of the border.

Mr Keogh - Watch out, here he comes.

Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - Where? I would be happy to sit down immediately and let him speak if he walked into the House, but I believe be does not have the courage. People in Queensland want to know where they stand. I regret to draw the honourable member for Lilley into this matter, but he claimed that he spoke for the Minister and the facts arc that he has been an ineffective spokesman. The Coombs report stands as testimony for the work that the honourable member's predecessor and I did in the past 2 years. The Brisbane suburbs of Hendra, Ascot, Hamilton, Doomben, Eagle Farm, Bulimba, Balmoral, Hawthorne, Norman Park, Merthyr, New Farm, Teneriffe and Newstead all belong to the group that has been described so aptly by myself as the unlucky thirteen. The 50,000 people - there are at least 50,000 of them - who live in those suburbs are the unlucky 50,000.

All I want is for the evasive Minister, a Minister who belongs to a Party which came to power on the promise of open government, to speak on this matter in the House. He has come here and clammed up like a Newcastle shell. We cannot get anything out of him. He just sits there ignoring pleas. Last night he handed out the greatest insult of all to the people of these 13 unlucky suburbs, because when he saw me stand up to speak again he walked out. The honourable member for Petrie expresses indigation at a recollection of history from yesterday. It is true and it is a continuing condemnation not only of the Minister but also of the whole Australian Labor Party.

I know that the House is about to be treated to a speech by the second of the terrible twins with the great union background or from wherever they may come, who will stand up and tell us what this new Government is doing. If the honourable member for Lilley has any courage, what he will do is to select one of my speeches from last Wednesday night, last Thursday night, last night or even my speech tonight and repeat it word for word. If the honourable member does that, the Minister for Civil Aviation will recognise that members of his own Party from Brisbane are equally as concerned as I am about this matter. I know that they leave this chamber after each adjournment debate, go up to his office and say: Charlie, he has been at it again. Do not worry. Do not take any notice of it because it is not a problem'. But for the people of Brisbane it is a problem. I will conclude my speech one minute before my allotted time expires as a mark of respect to the airport on which work would have started under my Party but has not started under this Government.

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