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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 1651

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Civil Aviation whether the Sydney Airport Noise Abatement Committee is still functioning. Is the Minister aware that local government bodies in the region have again criticised the volume of aircraft noise still affecting the amenity of the 250,000 people in the vicinity of the airport some of whom are in the flight paths? Can the Minister inform the Senate of the progress that has been made in abating aircraft noise which, in the opinion of the local authorities, has not improved in the 3 years that this problem has been under the consideration of the Noise Abatement Committee?

Senator COTTON - The perfect way to overcome the problem for the local municipalities is to close the airport and to have people travel by train. But that is quite unrealistic, as the honourable senator and most people would appreciate. A question of the overall public interest is involved. It is difficult for the people who live around the airport but it ought to be stated again, as it has been stated on many occasions, that the airport was there before most of the people chose to live there. The Noise Abatement Committee does work quite effectively some part of the time but its work is not helped by people who seek to stir up trouble there when it is not necessary. Great care and attention is taken with regard to the problem of aircraft noise at the Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport and will continue to be taken. We watch the matter carefully and give approval for flights to take place only within the normal hours when we believe that we are justified in doing so.

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