House debates

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019; Second Reading

10:58 am

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

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 stronger assurances that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority takes into consideration the economic and cost impacts on industry, and the relative risk environment in the different aviation sectors, when developing new 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.

This government has been the champion of small business and cutting red tape.

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 Safety 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.

Debate adjourned.