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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 1777

Senator BISHOP (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Civil Aviation and relates to his current statements regarding dismissals from Qantas Airways Ltd and the recent deputation from trade unions representing workers employed by Qantas. I ask: Since the joint deputation to him of those unions has it been possible to obtain information from Qantas or other sources which would indicate that the position of the Qantas workforce will be more stable in the future?

Senator COTTON - lt is indeed true that I had a long discussion with the Trades and Labour Council of New South Wales, led by Mr Barry Unsworth. The discussions took a long time - about li hours. I thought it was a very responsible gathering and that the points of view were expressed very well. 1 communicated to Qantas the full views expressed to me by that delegation. I have not yet had any comments as to the particular queries 1 raised with Qantas. Senator Bishop will know quite well that Qantas is in a difficult position in a world of increased capacity and increasing costs. Qantas has done what it can, as a company owned by the Australian people, to keep its business as economically viable as possible. 1 cannot go beyond that except to say that when I have further information I will try to convey it to the honourable senator.

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