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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 740

Senator WILLESEE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - In addressing a question to the Acting Leader of the Government I refer to the use of a BACIII aircraft of the VIP fleet to convey the Minister for External Territories to the Cocos Islands. Are only 3 journalists accompanying the Minister? Were requests from the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the Australian Associated Press news service to send representatives on the flight refused? How many of the 26 seats on the BAC-111 will be unoccupied on this trip?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - As

Minister for Air I am one of 3 authorities which may approve the use of VIP aircraft. In order to be granted approval to use the aircraft a Minister, the Leader of the Opposition or the Deputy Leader of the Opposition must apply to the Minister for Air and the aplication must be within the guidelines that have been laid down. Those guidelines provide that only 2 members of the Press shall bc allowed to travel to isolated areas in response to each request. A request was made to me for a number of pressmen to go and I said that it was beyond my authority to permit that and that the applicant should reapply to the Prime Minister, who is a further approving authority. It is my understanding that the applicant has made a further application requesting the carriage of 4 pressmen.

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