House debates

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Private Members' Business

International Aviation and Emissions Trading

9:37 am

Photo of Warren TrussWarren Truss (Wide Bay, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—I move:

That the motion be amended by omitting paragraph 2(c), and replacing it with:

'(c)   join in other appropriate international action to prevent the application of the European Union ETS to non-European Union airspace'

The proposed change omits paragraph 2(c) and inserts a new paragraph, which, I understand, will meet the favour of the House. I will not therefore speak at length about it. It calls on the government to join in appropriate international action to prevent the application of the European Union ETS to non-European airspace. It recognises that the original motion may have called upon the government to take some actions which were unwise. This gives it some freedom to ensure that actions are always wise. But it does still include the very key of the proposal, namely, that Australia should do something about the outrageous imposition by the European Union on other countries of what is essentially a tax for flying into their part of global airspace. The reality is that the way the tax is situated, it can be collected on foreign airlines flying over their own airspace. This is clearly an affront to all of the international principles that have been espoused by the international aviation community and, indeed, by the United Nations. It seeks to assert sovereignty over areas where clearly they do not have that right. I think it is important for government to speak out and to act strongly to resist these sorts of initiatives.

9:38 am

Photo of Yvette D'AthYvette D'Ath (Petrie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Is the amendment seconded?

Photo of Luke HartsuykerLuke Hartsuyker (Cowper, National Party, Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House) Share this | | Hansard source

I second the amendment.

9:39 am

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the House) Share this | | Hansard source

The government supports the amendment moved by the Leader of the Nationals. The government has been extremely active in expressing Australia's concerns and in opposing the measures that have been imposed in the European ETS system as it would apply to aviation. The government's position has been very clear with regard to aviation and shipping. As a global industry, they need to take action to address emissions, but the appropriate forums through which to do that are the global bodies—the International Maritime Organisation with regard to shipping and IATA with regard to aviation.

I had a meeting with the European Commissioner for Transport in Leipzig in May, while I was attending the International Transport Forum, at which I reiterated Australia's position, which has been consistent in all forums, including transport forums, the UNFCCC and other bodies. Australia will continue to put our position extremely strongly. It has the support of the Australian aviation industry.

I thank the shadow minister for amending his original proposition to recognise that it would have created issues which were not intended when the Leader of the Nationals moved that initial resolution. With the support of this amendment, the resolution will, I believe, now receive the unanimous support of the House. It is very important, as Australia participates in international affairs, that wherever possible we ensure there is bipartisanship, because that strengthens our negotiations at the international forums in which we participate.

Question agreed to.

Original question, as amended, agreed to.