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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2613

Senator LITTLE (Victoria) - I will be brief. The Democratic Labor Party will support the two Bills that are before the Senate at the moment. We are pleased that the dual airline system is to be continued. I suppose we need no better example of a requirement of that character than the recent unnecessary strike in one of the airlines. The country was able to hobble along with the alternative airline which did a magnificient job in filling in and handling the situation that faced the travelling public of Australia. That strike highlighted the requirement that there should be the competition which can be achieved with the 2 airline system. However, as the capital investment in airlines is so enormous it is very unlikely that a country of this size could sustain more than 2 airlines.

I refer now to the amendment which it has been foreshadowed will be moved to the Air Navigation (Charges) Bill. It could very well be that what is stated in the foreshadowed amendment is the broad policy that the Government has in mind. As the foreshadowed amendment represents an expression of opinion- quite a rational opinion although I do not think it will be possible to carry it out in exact detail- the Democratic Labor Party will support it. I do not know whether it is possible today for the Government or anyone else to look into the future and gain a clear and precise understanding of what future charges will be. As a business man I would not commit myself to being able to accomplish that miracle in any industry or in any business project today. I could not give a clear and precise- particularly precise- understanding of what charges will be in the future. I think there is some danger in approaching this matter in an analytical way, working out what the prices will be in 5 years time and then relating them to today's circumstances. A charge or a price is relevant only to the day, the times, the conditions and circumstances under which it is fixed. If we looked back at the times when we could buy a pair of men's shoes for 3s 1 Id or 4s lid and tried to relate that to today's prices we would say that we are living in a crazy world. Perhaps we are. In the days when things were as cheap as that, if we could have projected out minds into the future we would certainly have been scared, perhaps to such an extent that probably most of us would not be here. We would have taken an easier way out. -

The Democratic Labor Party does not join in some of the propositions put forward but we think that the general principles of these Bills are good and will support them. As the foreshadowed amendment merely conveys an expression of opinion to the Government, one which the Government might well intend to adopt anyway, we are prepared to support it

The PRESIDENT - Mr Minister,are you going to endeavour to get one of these Bills passed before the Senate adjourns?

Senator CAVANAGH(South Australia-

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) (6.55)- in reply- I hope so, Mr President. I shall takeyour hint and say in the short time available tome that if I am unable to reply to everything that has| been raised by honourable senators I shall get the information and forward the details to those concerned. The Government will not accept the foreshadowed amendment. The indications are, however, that it will be carried. If it is held to be carried on the voices the Government will not ask for a division.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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