VOCA

An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.

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2013

The “current” ministers view on aviation [still waiting!!]:

Media Releases

 

Comments invited on disability transport standards draft report  9th May, 2014
TRANSPORT accessibility for Australians with a disability is under the spotlight, with a draft review on the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 released for public comment today. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and … more»

 

 

News briefs for 7 May 2014  7th May, 2014
SIMPLER TAX RETURNS From 1 July, the Australian Taxation Office will provide an online and substantially pre-prepared tax return for people without complex tax affairs says Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss. “For many people in Wide … more»

 

 

Technology Boost for Western Highway  6th May, 2014
INTELLIGENT Transport System signs are set to improve road communications and motorist safety on the Western Highway. Two signs are being installed as part of the $505 million Western Highway duplication between Ballarat and Stawell. Another two … more»

 

 

MH370 Tripartitie Meeting – Communique  5th May, 2014
MH370 TRIPARTITE MEETING SENIOR Ministers from Australia, Malaysia and China met today to discuss the way forward for the new phase of the search for MH370. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Warren Truss MP … more»

 

 

Transcript – Joint Press Conference – Tripartite Meeting Regarding MH370  5th May, 2014
The Australian Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Mr Warren Truss The Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Mr Hishammuddin Husssein The People’s Republic of China’s Transport Minister Mr Yang Chuantang The Chief Coordinator … more»

 

 

Upgrades to Pinnaroo Wetlands to entice new visitors  4th May, 2014
SOUTHERN Mallee District locals will benefit from the $220,000 redevelopment of the Pinnaroo Wetlands which is nearing completion. Member for Barker Tony Pasin, representing Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, joined … more»

 

 

Gillenbah rest area and safety upgrade complete  2nd May, 2014
HEAVY vehicle operators using the Newell Highway at Gillenbah will benefit from improvements to a section often used for stopping and resting. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the … more»

 

 

Nominations for Green Army projects close soon  2nd May, 2014
Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss is calling on environmental organisations in Wide Bay to nominate local conservation projects that could benefit from Green Army support. “Green Army projects focus on restoring and protecting native … more»

 

 

Truss welcomes USQ Maryborough hub  2nd May, 2014
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, today said the University of Southern Queensland’s new study centre at the Maryborough Educational Hub demonstrates its commitment to Maryborough and to improving access … more»

 

 

Tenders called for $39 million Kapooka Bridge work  1st May, 2014
TENDERS are being called for the $39 million realignment of the Olympic Highway at Kapooka. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss invited qualified contractors to submit bids for this important project, … more»

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Albanese: This is the “Ministers talk” on the “White Paper”

Not much hope for aviation as the Minister, the ATSB and the Head of Department [Mike Mrdac] just “don’t get it”

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and the Senate Report to support what I am saying is here:

Senate Report – May 2013

and Senator Xenophon says:

It is my view that CASA, under Mr McCormick, has become a regulatory bully that appears to take any action available to ensure its own shortcomings are not made public. This poses great risks to aviation safety, and the safety of the travelling public. Equally, the ATSB—which should fearlessly expose any shortcomings on the part of CASA and other organisations to improve aviation safety—has become institutionally timid and appears to lack the strength to perform its role adequately.
Both agencies require a complete overhaul, and I believe it is only luck that their ineptness has not resulted in further deaths so far.

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Ministerial Interview Transcripts [Albanese]

Aug 7, 2013

Key Note Address to CAPA-Australia-Pacific Aviation Summit, Sydney

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for the warm welcome Peter [Harbison, Executive Chairman, CAPA Centre for Aviation].

Spike Milligan once famously said: “We don’t have a plan, so nothing can go wrong”.

That is very much the approach we inherited when we came to office in 2007.

There really was no plan.

Regional aviation was way down.

There were 31 fewer airports receiving passenger services and 5 million fewer passengers than there are now.

There was a chronic shortage of pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers.

And Australia was still feeling the impact of the collapse of Ansett in 2001

AVIATION WHITE PAPER

With no coherent plan in place for the industry in 2007, we knew this had to change.

After a lot of hard work, we released at the end of 2009 the first ever strategic plan for growth for the next 20 years – the Aviation White Paper.

We have now implemented almost all of its 134 initiatives.

This has given the aviation industry the long-term confidence it needs to plan, invest and grow the market.

AVIATION IN AUSTRALIA TODAY

The statistics are clear – Australians love to fly.

We took 57 million trips within our country last year.

And a further 16.5 million international flights.

Not bad for a nation of 23 million.

Domestically, growth is a healthy four per cent – a rate that is the envy of the world.

Growth is about six times as strong as the US and UK markets.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE

And with the growing Asian middle class right on our doorstep, there is no sense that things are going backwards anytime soon.

Indeed, we’re well placed to take advantage of Asia’s growth.

Since 2007, we have made sure that we have negotiated air services agreements with every ASEAN nation.

Most of these agreements have been liberalised over the past three years to allow for further growth.

We now have more flights and more airlines than ever operating into Australia.

And there are now many more destinations where our own Australian airlines can fly to.

We have doubled capacity with both China and Indonesia.

In the past three years, Chinese visitors to Australia have increased by almost 70 per cent.

And it won’t be stopping there.

By 2021, around one million Chinese tourists are expected to visit our shores each year, spending a collective $7.6 billion while here.

The Federal Labor Government has also signed open-skies style arrangements with Japan, and increased capacity entitlements with India, Thailand, Malaysia, Viet Nam and the Philippines.

In 2021, the economic value of these tourists is projected to be around $5.7 billion.

That means economic growth and more jobs for Australians right across the country.

All this hard work has helped to secure the futures of Qantas and Virgin.

Both airlines can now compete in new markets using their competitive alliances with foreign carriers.

The Government’s Asian Century White Paper, released last year, not only identified the importance of increasing air services between Asia and Australia.

It also stressed the need for Australia to work with the business sector and partner governments to reduce impediments to trade and travel.

Arrivals from Asia are forecast to reach 3.6 million by 2020 requiring targeted tourism products and good infrastructure.

We will need an additional 70,000 more hotel rooms to meet this projected demand.

UNITED STATES OPEN-SKIES AGREEMENT

Our advocacy isn’t just confined to Asia.

Our 2008 Open Skies agreement with the United States has provided great opportunities for increasing trade and commercial links between Australia and the United States.

Not only did this agreement open the door for Virgin Australia to enter the US market, it also allowed for Qantas and Jetstar to increase services.

That means greater service levels, more destinations, lower air fares.

And in response, the numbers flying between Australia and the US have increased from 1.9 million in 2008 to almost 2.8 million in the past year.

REGIONAL AIR SERVICES

It is also a healthy picture at home where growth is particularly evident at our regional airports.

Passenger numbers last year  topped  24 million.

That’s a rise of 25 per cent since 2007.

More flights and greater competition have helped bring down the average price of a regional flight by 35 per cent over the past decade alone.

It’s not just regional passenger numbers that have grown since we came to government in 2007.

We have made unprecedented investments in regional and remote airport infrastructure.

For people living in remote Australia, air services aren’t a luxury – they are a lifeline for basic provisions and health services.

That’s why since coming to Government, we have invested more than $261 million in upgrades and services at regional and remote airports  – more than five times what was spent by the former Coalition Government in the preceding six years.

Our record speaks for itself.

I also reaffirm the White Paper commitment that regional airlines will retain access to slots at Sydney airport in the morning and evening peaks.

Just recently the Government extended to 2016 the special pricing arrangements at Sydney Airport for regional services.

This protects regional airlines from being pushed out in favour of larger commercial interstate and international airlines.

CONSUMERS AND OPERATORS

We have delivered on our promise in the White Paper  to improve the rights of consumers.

In March we increased the domestic passenger liability cap and mandatory insurance requirements for airlines by 45 per cent to $725,000.

We all aim for an industry free of accidents.

But when the unthinkable happens, this provides extra assurance to customers.

We changed the Damage By Aircraft Act to balance the allocation of risk by including a provision on contributory negligence.

An important piece of law, missing since the Act was passed in 1999.

We now have an Airline Customer Advocate, airline customer charters and much better plans in place for people with a disability so that airlines are clear about their roles and responsibilities.

Simple, common-sense improvements that improve the travelling experience for everyone.

CHEAPER AIRCRAFT

Recently, legislation passed the Parliament enabling Australia to sign up to the Cape Town Convention.

Capital costs are a concern for any industry and the Convention means airlines can now find cheaper finance when buying aircraft.

This reduces the risk for creditors, giving your industry greater certainty.

It could mean a saving of up to $2.5 million on a new Airbus A380, and about $1.7 million on the cost of a new Boeing 787-8.

But it’s not just for the big guys.

It will also help regional airlines expand and renew their fleets with savings of up to $330,000 on an ATR-72.

SYDNEY’S AVIATION CAPACITY

One area where serious questions remain is the capacity of Sydney Airport to service future demand.

Last year, the Federal and NSW Governments released a Joint Study on Aviation Capacity for the Sydney Region, a 3,200 report which made an irrefutable case for a new Sydney airport.

Kingsford Smith Airport is reaching capacity.

All the tinkering in the world won’t change that fact.

This size of the airport restricts its growth.

Melbourne Airport is 2 ½ times bigger than Sydney Airport and Brisbane is three times bigger.

Without a second Sydney airport, we will be saying no to jobs, no to economic growth and no to securing Sydney’s future as a global city.

With four out of every 10 flights passing each day through Sydney, this is no longer an issue just for this city.

A delay at Sydney spreads like influenza around the nation.

Australia – not just Sydney – needs a second Sydney airport sooner than later.

It must be dealt with in a bipartisan way.

The problems of Sydney are already affecting business.

Over the last five years alone, Melbourne’s international traffic has grown by twice that of Sydney.

Sydney’s share of international business now sits at 42 per cent, down from 50 per cent a decade ago.

All this comes at a time when international passenger numbers for Australia overall are at a record high.

HEALTH OF THE SECTOR

A healthy aviation sector is not just good for business, it’s also good for jobs.

There are 50,000 people directly employed in aviation.

And half a million more are employed in tourism jobs.

The air freight industry now carries $110 billion in cargo each year.

And aviation overall is now worth a remarkable $32 billion to the Australian economy.

The Federal Government is absolutely committed to ensuring that we get the policy settings right so that Australian aviation can continue to thrive in the future.

CONCLUSION

I have painted a pretty clear picture of the state of aviation in Australia.

No plan in place when we arrived.

And no policy agenda to address the industry’s problems.

Today, the market has never looked better.

We have passenger growth levels that are the envy of the world.

Our White Paper sets out a constructive, 20-year blueprint for growth, and we’ve enabled the industry to tend to its core business without excessive intervention.

We sit today on the doorstep of the fastest growing region of the planet.

And the people in the many countries that make up the Asian region are choosing to fly here in greater numbers than ever before.

Our aviation sector is in a great position to secure national economic benefits that future growth will bring.

I look forward to working with the sector to secure that future.

ENDS