Mar 8, 2007

Audit office report slams Government

Audit office report slams Government

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

8 March 2007

An Australian National Audit Office report into the management of the cap on aircraft movement at Sydney Airport to 80 in any hour is a damning indictment of the Government. It clearly shows the Government is failing to implement its own legislation and failing to defend the interests of the community.

The report states “the compliance committee chaired by DOTARS (Department of Transport) has not effectively applied the compliance schemes provisions for identifying unauthorised aircraft movements”. It has also found that “there is evidence of a high number of unauthorised aircraft movements having occurred at Sydney Airport”.

It is outrageous that since the legislation was passed a decade ago not a single infringement notice has been issued or a single penalty applied. There is documented evidence that the curfew at Sydney airport between 11pm and 6am is being breached every single day.

It is also extraordinary that the Audit office report has found that “there may have been as many as 357 additional breaches of the movement limit that haven’t been reported to the Minister or the Parliament”.

The Howard Government is failing to ensure compliance with its own legislation. The Howard Government is showing a complete disregard for the community which lives around the airport, the most densely populated area of Australia.

One of the first measures I took on my election to parliament was to move a Private Members Bill which resulted in the movement limit provisions being placed in the current legislation. It is outrageous that the Howard Government is failing to ensure that this legislation is enforced.

The Government must take action to alleviate the noise and associated problems faced by residents today.

Enforcing its own legislation is the least the community should expect.