Thursday, 16 November 2017
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee; Reference
At the request of Senators Sterle and O'Sullivan, I move:
That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 March 2018:
The operation, regulation and funding of air route service delivery to rural, regional and remote communities, with particular reference to:
(a) social and economic impacts of air route supply and airfare pricing;
(b) different legal, regulatory, policy and pricing frameworks and practices across the Commonwealth, states and territories;
(c) how airlines determine fare pricing;
(d) the determination of airport charges for landing and security fees, aircraft type and customer demand;
(e) pricing determination, subsidisation and equity of airfares;
(f) determination of regulated routes and distribution of residents' fares across regulated routes;
(g) airline competition within rural and regional routes;
(h) consistency of aircraft supply and retrieval of passengers by airlines during aircraft maintenance and breakdown;
(i) all related costs and charges imposed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority; and
(j) any related matters.
I want to thank the Labor Party for their cooperation and support for the development of this reference, which will be, of course, under the chairmanship of Senator Sterle. This is a very important reference. I am speaking out now to our crossbench colleagues to pay attention to this and support it. This is about trying to bring equity into the cost impacts of regional airline movements for our people in regional Australia, not just my home state of Queensland. We've got some very atrocious examples of gouging where it costs up to $2,000 for people to travel the same distances it costs them $78 to travel between the metros, including people who require constant medical attention and are having to go to the cities. This has to be brought to an end, and we hope this committee reference will take us some way towards being able to make recommendations to government about changes.
Question agreed to.