Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Thursday 7 November 1968, page 17

Dr Cairns

Dr Cairns calls for

gamble on



The Government had to be prepared to take risks if it was to promote the development

of an Australian aircraft industry, Dr Cairns (Lab, Vic) said.

Dr Cairns criticised the decision of the Tariff Board not to grant protection to Australian - manufactured

singlc-engincd agricultural


The board's report on singlc-engined aircraft was tabled by the Minister for the Interior, Mr Nixon.

Dr Cairns said the board', which had shown that it could take risks on other occasions, had been too conservative.

"Australia has got to have an aircraft industry", Dr Cairns said.

"When you consider the risks the Government takes buying aircraft overseas for $300 million, you would think that they would take a risk on Australian aircraft".



The board inquiry arose from representations by Transavia Corporation, makers of the PL 12 Airtruk agricultural aircraft.

Mr Nixon, tabling the report. said the board had found that a bounty of $8,000 to $9,000 an aircraft would be necessary to enable profitable Australian manufacture of the Airtruk.

The level of assistance would be comparable to a 50 per cent ad valorem tariff which would not be justified by the contribution the aircraft would make to the economy.

Following Mr Nixon, Dr Cairns said that reports seemed to indicate that the aircraft had an extremely promising future.

The debate was adjourned.