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Monday, 15 October 1973
Page: 2075

Mr GRAHAM (North Sydney) - I want to make a few comments in support of this Bill. As has been indicated by the honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street), the Opposition supports the Government's decision in voting for the change of the protocol and welcomes the participation by an increased number of states in the work of the Air Navigation Commission which is becoming more complex with the technological advances in air navigation in recent years. 1 hope that the Government will seek to have Australian participation in those decisions that are being made in the near future, in particular in relation to the supersonic transport, or SST, aircraft because there will need to be a review of the advancing technology so that the interests of the various countries which are involved in the general structure of world commercial aviation will be best served. I have no doubt that because of Australia's position and because of the interest of the Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr Charles Jones) in this particular aspect of Australia's position in relation to the rest of the world, he and his Department will be watching these matters with a great deal of close care and scrutiny.

I hope that Australia's influence and contra.bution to the International Civil Air Organisation will grow and that the financial assistance we are able to render also will be increased. I feel sure that the International Civil Air Organisation, which has grown by about four or five countries in almost each year, will benefit. In 1972 the membership increased to 124 contracting states. It is interesting to note that those states were as far apart but as vitally interested as any could be. They were, in that year, Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In this last year, as has been indicated, the total membership has increased to 128, which is more than double the number of States which came together in 1944. There was, at that time, the awareness that there would be a tremendous growth in the International Civil Air Organisation and a great need for the development of a highly qualified professional body, such as this Air Navigation Commission, within the general structure of the International Civil Air Organisation. I add these words of support and assure the Minister that we are profoundly interested, as he is, in supporting legislation of this nature.

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