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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 1308

Senator JESSOP - I ask the Minister for Civil Aviation whether it is a fact that the major airline operators are finding it uneconomic to service certain intrastate routes in South Australia. Is he aware that in particular the service to Leigh Creek has been drastically reduced in recent months? In relation to Leigh Creek is the Minister aware that a third level airline would be able to provide a daily service? Will he give serious consideration to recommending that this line be taken over so that the residents will be given a much more satisfactory freight and passenger service?

Senator COTTON - I think it is a fair observation that in some of the internal flying in South Australia the load factors are not such as to make the operations all that profitable. In fact, some may be highly marginal. Where a service has to be dropped because the available aircraft and the major operator are too big for the service, we always seek to encourage a third level operator to enter the field. I cannot direct that mandatorily but the honourable senator may be sure that we do what we can to help. We are watching the Leigh Creek situation closely in that regard.

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