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Tuesday, 21 March 1972
Page: 695

Senator DEVITT (TASMANIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Civil Aviation. In view of the current rationalisation policy of the airlines which has led to considerably reduced services and the consequent achievement of the objective of much higher passenger loading can the Minister say when it might be expected that some of the considerable financial benefit flowing to the airlines from this policy will be passed on to the travelling public by way of lower fares or improved services in some other direction?

Senator COTTON - -The speculation about considerable financial benefit is pure speculation and, I think, quite inaccurate. These rationalisation procedures were adopted in a situation of heavy rising costs with market- growth being quite slender.

Senator Devitt - Nonsense.

Senator COTTON - It is not nonsense. If the honourable senator had any useful information on this subject I would ask him to let me have it. But he does not have any so I ask him, please, to listen to me. The situation is quite clear. The rationalisation proposal which is sensible and wise is continually under study. It is designed to try to keep fares from rising.

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