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Aviation Act Section 9A

There are proposed changes to the Aviation Act, which lapsed in the last Parliament (May 2019).

Senator Janet Rice [Victoria] says: “This bill has not been through sufficient scrutiny. These are very legitimate concerns and they need a robust hearing. It’s not just the Greens and the pilots. What’s the department’s justification for this bill? How does CASA itself think that this bill will change how it functions? What do the independent aviation safety experts in academia and the private sector think will happen as a result of these changes? I would certainly like to know the answers to these questions, and the Senate should know the answers to these questions. So I move:

At the end of the motion, add:

“, and the bill be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 10 September 2019.”


There is political support for a major investigation into ca$a in the 2017 Queensland LNP Policy supported by the Annual Conference.

In July 2018, McCormack addressed the Aviation Summit, referring all comments to a “Steve Campbell”. When this person is researched, we find that “Steve Campbell” was the advisor to previous Aviation Minister Darren Chester.

He was “let go” and turned up advising Carmody, the CEO of ca$a. Occupying the adjoining office!!.

“Steve Campbell” turns up in the advisory group for Minister McCormack.

What is more disturbing, is former Qantas operative Damian Callachor, who is Michael McCormack’s chief of staff.


There are only five at that rank [principal private secretary, the highest staffing rank in the government.] across the Morrison ­government: John Kunkel, Yaron Finkelstein and Simon Atkinson in the PM’s office, former EY brain Peter Crone in the Treasurer’s office and former Qantas operative Damian Callachor, who is Michael McCormack’s chief of staff.

May explain why GA is being shafted and RPT  gets an easy go.

Transparent – NO.

AOPA raises serious doubts about the process of this Wagga Meeting and other matters, being rewarded by being not nominated/removed from the ca$a ASAP committee. This is one of the main advisory groups to ca$a. As a result up to 20,000 pilots and aircraft owners are disenfranchised out of (say) 35,000 people involved at this level.

The Senate and the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019

Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019 – 6809703

House of Reps: 2nd reading Albanese

House of Reps: 2nd reading Littleproud

This started in February 2019 as: Civil Aviation Amendment Bill:

22nd July 2019

Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (18:28): by leave—I move Jacquie Lambie Network amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 8699 together:

(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 4), before item 1, insert:

1A Subsection 9A(1)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(1) In exercising its powers and performing its functions, CASA must regard the achievement of the highest standard of safety of air navigation, at the lowest charges consistent with both public demand and an economic return to efficient operators, as the most important consideration.

(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 3 (before line 8), before paragraph 9A(3) (a), insert:

(aa) ensure that those aviation safety standards maintain or improve the overall safety of the civil aviation system; and

These amendments change the language in section 9A of the Civil Aviation Act, which states ‘CASA must regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration’. Everybody wants a safe aviation sector, but we want to see an aviation sector that is sustainable as well as safe. When it comes to aviation safety, the safest passenger is the one that never gets in a plane in the first place. The easiest way to prevent aviation accidents is to shut down aviation altogether—if every plane is grounded, every plane is safe. Excessive regulation is doing just that—keeping planes safe by keeping planes grounded. This is all made possible by the rules around the regulator, CASA, which currently has to consider safety as the highest priority above all else. It is required to ignore other considerations like cost, as if it is unrelated. Putting one pilot in the cockpit isn’t as safe as having two pilots in there. And having two pilots isn’t as safe as having 10 or 12 or 20. But which airline could afford to fill half its seats with pilots on the payroll? Sure, you would be safer but your ticket would be so expensive that nobody would be able to afford it. The reality is that proposals to make aviation safer—

Sitting suspended from 18:30 to 19:30

Senator LAMBIE: The reality is that proposals to make aviation safer are already limited by what is affordable. If a regulation makes travel one per cent safe but doubles its cost, does anybody here seriously think cost is not worth considering? If a regulation can save a dollar and maintain the same level of safety it should be supported. Every regulation should be assessed for the costs and the benefits. Right now, the legislation is geared only to how regulations impact on safety. The reality is that cost always has to be considered. The regulation pretends that it doesn’t, but that is a legal fiction. It makes you feel safe, but it doesn’t keep you safe. If the only consideration was cost every seat on an aircraft would be fitted with an ejection capsule, every second row would be filled with security officers from the AFP and you’d require every plane to be replaced every five years, just in case. Every one of those changes would make air travel safer, but every one of those changes would send the sector broke in the process. The reason these safety standards have not been adopted is that the costs aren’t worth the benefit. Cost is always considered. Cost is already being considered. But the Civil Aviation Act does not recognise it is happening or allow for it to happen.

Safety matters—nobody is arguing it doesn’t—but every safety decision ends up being paid for by the end user. Some operators already are being squeezed out by ever-increasing costs, and every new regulation adds to the price of doing business in the sector. The impact of these changes is regressive. They hurt people on low incomes the most because they are the people least able to absorb the higher price of a ticket. The impact of these changes hurts the bush more than anywhere else. Small-town air services are shutting down because the cost of staying open is too expensive for them to maintain. This pushes people off planes and onto roads. Is that really safer for the traveller? People are driving on roads that aren’t as well maintained, in vehicles that aren’t as well regulated and with a licence that isn’t as difficult to obtain. And that would happen in the name of safety.

These amendments ensure that safety remains a priority but not the only priority. That reflects what should be common sense. Making decisions about safety without thinking about cost simply leads to businesses with superb safety records being driven to closure. These amendments retain the commitment to safety but recognise that CASA has a responsibility to strike a balance. A plane in a hangar may be safe, but that’s not what planes are meant for. It’s not the job of the regulator to ground every aircraft in the country. It should be the job of the regulator to keep aircraft in the air and keep passengers and pilots safe while they’re there, and that is what these amendments seek to do. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support them.

****The changes to the Aviation Act have now been passed by Senate now.****

Thursday, 4 July 2019   Senator DUNIAM (TasmaniaAssistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism) (11:53):
I table the explanatory memorandum relating to the bills and move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.


Australian aviation is an essential part of our economy. It links our regions to our cities, and our cities to the world.

A strong aviation industry requires continuous improvement in the regulatory system which governs it. While Australia has an enviable record in aviation safety — built on a modern regulatory framework — any regulator must continue to keep pace with the industry it regulates.

Some sectors of the general aviation industry are seeking assurance that CASA takes into consideration the economic and cost impacts on industry, and the relative risk environment in the different aviation sectors, when developing broadly applicable aviation safety standards.

The Australian Government is very conscious of the challenges faced by small business in Australia and the need to remove unnecessary costs and regulatory burden.

We are committed to aviation safety being the most important consideration in safety regulation and recognise that CASA must be allowed to ensure aviation in Australia is safe and reliable.

Costs and risks are both carefully weighed by CASA when it develops aviation safety standards. The requirements behind this process are spelt out in the Government’s Statement of Expectations issued to the CASA board.

Today I introduce into the Parliament a Bill that incorporates those guiding principles from the Government’s Statement of Expectations into the Civil Aviation Act 1988.

The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill – “the Bill” – is in direct response to the concerns raised by the general aviation industry.

The Bill will allow the Government to ensure CASA continues to consider the economic and cost impact on individuals, businesses and the community. It will take into account the differing risks posed by those sectors when developing and promulgating legislative aviation safety standards.

It is important we continue to support an aviation industry that is dynamic and sustainable, with a regulatory system that is responsive and proportionate to risks. The Government seeks a level of regulation that maintains the safety of the system without unreasonably restricting innovation and growth.

I commend the Bill.

Ordered that further consideration of the second reading of these bills be adjourned to the first sitting day of the next period of sitting, in accordance with standing order 111.

Ordered that the bills be listed on the Notice Paper as separate orders of the day. [22nd July 2019]

Reading for the Aviation Act changes:

Minister McCormack has some serious work to undertake

Wagga meeting today



Judicial Inquiry into CA$A called for by LNP Queensland Conference




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