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Wednesday, 13 November 1974
Page: 2301

Senator WOOD - I desire to ask my question of the Minister representing the Minister for Minerals and Energy. What purpose does the Government expect to achieve by doubling the cost of fuel to international airlines refuelling in Australia? Is it not a fact that the increased charge will go to the funds of the oil companies? How does this benefit Australia? Will it not benefit only the oil companies? Is it logical to consider fuel consumed during an international flight as an export commodity since it is never delivered to another country? If airlines have been considered to have uplifted excessive quantities of fuel in Australia, could this practice not be controlled by charging a premium price for any fuel lifted in excess of normal operational needs? Is it not realised that the doubling of fuel costs to international air services will increase the cost of air travel, which will have harmful effects upon our tourist industry, and will be an increased cost to Australian citizens desiring to travel overseas? Is it not unfair that new air services such as Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Garuda Indonesian Airways should have to pay the increased charge immediately? Does the Government not realise that the extra charge could also have a very detrimental effect on our Australian airline, Qantas Airways Ltd?

Senator WRIEDT -I shall refer the question to the Minister for Transport, whose responsibility it is.

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