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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 1654

Senator CANT - Has the Minister for Civil Aviation seen a statement by Sir Frederick Scherger to the effect that there is likely to be an increase in domestic air fares? Is there a world wide tendency for air fares to be reduced? If there is a tendency for air fares to be reduced throughout the world, what justification is there for increases in Australia? Will the Minister take whatever action is available to him to assure the Australian public that there will be no increase in domestic air fares while this tendency exists?

Senator COTTON - The statement that is attributed to Sir Frederick Scherger was in fact quite a long case made to the Senate Standing Committee on Industry and Trade in which be dealt with the Australian National Airlines Commission position, hi that statement Sir Frederick observed that the possibility of fare increases might, flow out of a situation in which dividend rates were much higher in the Ansett company than in his own Airlines Commission. 1 knew about that: J have observed it very carefully indeed throughout the past month or so. There is a tendency around the world for air fares to decrease on some of the long flying legs, as all honourable senators would know. I am not so sure that the same tendency is manifest in short haul domestic operations. Nonetheless we in this country and, in particular, in the Department of Civil Aviation have adopted a policy of very close scrutiny indeed of any application for increases in domestic air fares, whatever reason may be given by the operator. We evaluate such a request most precisely.

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