Jun 24, 2010

Significant, new funding for aviation safety

Significant, new funding for aviation safety

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 24 2010

Federal Parliament today approved legislation which delivers an unprecedented 30 per cent increase over four years to the annual budget of the nation’s independent aviation safety watchdog, strengthening its oversight of the industry.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will use its extra $89.9 million to:

  • Employ 97 additional safety specialists, safety analysts and airworthiness inspectors and other staff, allowing the organisation to expand its surveillance activities and fulfil its increasingly complex regulatory responsibilities.
  • Provide expanded and ongoing training to its staff.
  • Make permanent random alcohol and drug testing as well as a number of other programs which until now had been funded on a temporary or ad hoc basis.
  • Make sure the Office of Airspace Regulation continues to have the resources to properly regulate and administer Australia’s airspace, an area covering almost 11 per cent of the earth’s surface.

While Australia has an enviable safety record, this Labor Government won’t be taking future success as a given. The 100 million passengers that fly through our skies every year expect and deserve nothing less than our continued vigilance.

Our large additional investment in CASA’s highly professional workforce builds on the reforms we’ve made to the organisation’s governance arrangements with the appointment of a small board of experts to oversee its strategic direction.

This extra investment in safer skies will be funded via a small increase in the aviation fuel excise (from $0.02854 to $0.03556 per litre). The Government considers this to be a reasonable and responsible step considering the industry’s continued growth depends on the public’s ongoing confidence in its safety standards.