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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2378

Senator McLAREN (South Australia) - J have 2 matters I want to raise. The first relates to the Department of Civil Aviation and the second to the Department of the Interior. In December last year during a debate on the Appropriation Bills I raised a matter relating to the Darwin airport on behalf of people who use that facility. I pointed out to the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton) the congestion which occurred. The Minister advised me that it was expected that tenders would be called in either the first or second quarter of this year for the extension of the passenger terminal and that an amount of $650,000 - I think it was - was envisaged for that purpose. Can the Minister advise what progress is being made with the detailed master plan in connection with the proposed establishment of the civil terminal in the north west corner of the airport? One of the other matters which I raised at that time was in connection with the problem of the Darwin Aero Club. The Minister, in his reply, promised me that he would have a look at the matter, but at that time he could not give me any promise that he could obtain any result to the query I put to him.

In these debates one often finds that one has to criticise Ministers. I now find myself in the very happy situation of being able to offer the thanks of the Darwin Aero Club to the Minister because he was able to do something,. I am not sure that I am in order in mentioning this matter at this time but I would like to do so. The members of the Darwin Aero Club are very grateful to the Minister for the action he took in relation to the establishment of a service hangar. A few weeks ago when I was in Darwin I was happy to see that the hangar was under construction and I think that by this time it would be completed. I thank Senator Cotton on behalf of the members of the Darwin Aero Club for the action he took in seeing that the Club received permission to erect the service hangar which it had been endeavouring to obtain for so many years.

The other matter I want to raise relates to the Department of the Interior and the unsatisfactory state of the electoral rolls at the previous Northern Territory Legislative Council elections held in October last. I ask the Minister whether he will ensure that support will be given to the new Northern Territory electoral officer in every way possible, both physically and financially, to enable him to carry out his task of putting in order the Northern Territory electoral rolls for the forthcoming Federal election. I do not need to remind honourable senators of the state the rolls were in during the last local council elections. They are still in that state. I understand that the Commonwealth electoral rolls are used for local government elections. I again ask the Government and the Minister responsible to do everything humanly possible to see that the Northern Territory rolls are brought up to date in time for this year's Federal election. I have another request. Can some appropriation be made for the establishment of a Commonwealth Electoral Office at Alice Springs? People in the Northern Territory feel that having an office situated at Darwin is not giving a service to the people in the southern part of the Territory. I ask that consideration be given to that matter in the next Budget.

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