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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1863

Senator WITHERS (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Customs and Excise. If the Government wishes to prevent international airlines from uplifting excess quantities of fuel in Australia, is it not a fact that the Government has power to prevent them from doing so under the powers available to his Department? If this is the case, why does not the Government follow this course of action instead of deliberately causing an increase in air fares, the burden of which will fall on the Australian community which already has suffered substantial increases in air fares under this Government?

Senator MURPHY -What the Leader of the Opposition is putting is probably correct- that action could be taken under the Customs Act, certainly by the passage of an appropriate regulation if the current regulations do not cover it already. It is a slightly technical matter and I will look into it to make sure what the position is. But I am certain that the Government is not taking any action with the intention of unnecessarily increasing air fares. In order that we can be sure that the best procedure has been taken, I will speak to the Ministers concerned and further inform the Senate.

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