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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3064

Mr MORRIS - The Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser) said that public servants may steal documents when it is in the public interest. This morning we sought to move a motion disagreeing with that statement and you voted against it. Do not raise that kind of question about stolen documents. You voted in favour of stolen documents.

Mr Hodgman - It is a felony to receive stolen documents.

Mr MORRIS - This is not a Public Service document. One paragraph in this document states:

The existing degree of recovery from the aviation industry is excessive because of the composition of the costs and of the offsetting items of revenue and by comparison of that achieved elsewhere in the transport industry. . . . Met. services provided to the aviation industry exceed its requirements and the industry is not paid for the data it provides the met. bureau.

It shows that the recovery rate for international airlines is 160 per cent, from domestic trunk airlines 130 per cent, from rural airlines about 40 per cent and from commuter general aviation 20 per cent. The overall recovery, according to the report of members of this Committee, is 85 per cent. That is quite different from what the Minister said in his speech. The document continues:

Environmental factors mean heavy costs for airlines in diversionary flying for noise reasons, curfews on the use of airport facilities which mean about 25 per cent of idle capacity.

It mentions rentals and leases. The concluding paragraph, which I shall read, explains why the Minister will not table the report. It states:

The organisation of the Department of Transport in its regions is of concern. These employ more than 80 per cent of total departmental staff. There appear to be costly duplications and regional civil aviation staff are becoming involved in multi modal activities at the expense of aviation and much of these activities are adequately catered for by existing State transport departments and organisations.

That is the reason. The Minister has refused to table the report because that Committee came up with a report critical of the Department. In the interests of the industry it ought to be tabled.

Mr Hodgman - Are you sure that it was not stolen?

Mr MORRIS - A lawyer like you would not know the difference. I want to raise now a matter that I am reluctant to raise.

Mr Bourchier - I will bet you are.

Mr MORRIS -I am reluctant to raise it, but I have informed the honourable member for Brisbane (Mr Peter Johnson) that I propose to raise it. I informed him yesterday. I am prompted to raise it because I saw on the Australian Broadcasting Commission a few weeks ago a film of a person who was wearing a short sleeve striped shirt and sunglasses screaming out to Senator Georges when he was being arrested in Brisbane: 'I am a member of the House of Representatives, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. It was the honourable member for Brisbane. That was on the ABC news on a Saturday screening. It was screened several times. No doubt millions of Australians saw it On 18 October I received a telephone call from a distressed lady complaining about the honourable member for Brisbane. Honourable members may recall that that was the day the Lufthansa captain was murdered at Mogadishu airport and there was revulsion throughout the world at the whole subject of hijacking. The lady said that all of us- I agree with her- as members of parliament have a responsibility to set an example by our behaviour to the law and our services to and requirements in the community, particularly in relation to security checks at airports.

The complaint from this lady was that the honourable member for Brisbane had refused to undergo security checks at an airport- this had been witnessed by her neighbour- a scene was created and the staff refused to carry on working unless he went through the security check like anybody else. I think that is fair. I think all of us would agree. I think we ought to be setting an example. Because he acted in the way he did when Senator Georges was arrested, I think it is my responsibility -

Mr Bourchier - Mr Deputy Speaker,I take a point or order. What relationship has this subject to the Bill? Would you ask the honourable member for Shortland to keep to the subject that he is supposed to be discussing, instead of trying to be disgusting.

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