Senate debates

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

1999 Montreal Convention

3:50 pm

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I ask that general business notice of motion No. 234, standing in my name for today relating to the 1999 Montreal Convention, ensuring just compensation for passengers injured on international flights, be taken as a formal motion.

Photo of Alan FergusonAlan Ferguson (SA, Deputy-President) Share this | | Hansard source

Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

Photo of Joe LudwigJoe Ludwig (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Manager of Government Business in the Senate) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—I wish to make a short statement. The government opposes this motion, not because it is without merit but because it is unnecessary. After years of inaction by the previous government, the Rudd government has moved quickly to pass legislation—in June this year—to implement the 1999 Montreal Convention. The government is now finalising the formal accession process. Following approval by the executive council, an instrument of accession will be lodged with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and the legislation will enter into force 60 days later in accordance with Article 53 of the Convention. In adopting the Montreal Convention, we delivered in seven months what the previous government failed to achieve in eight years. It is quite ironic, therefore, that members of the opposition are apparently supporting this motion. When they had the opportunity to do something to protect international airline passengers, they did not. Their support for this motion is, quite frankly, hypocritical, and does not absolve them from eight years of neglect.

3:52 pm

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate calls on the Prime Minister (Mr Rudd) and the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Mr Albanese) to take immediate action:
to secure from the Executive Council approval for Australia to enter into the 1999 Montreal Convention to ensure just compensation for Australian passengers injured on international flights; and
to lodge Australia’s formal instrument of accession to the convention with the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Question agreed to.