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Thursday, 10 May 2007
Page: 201

Mr Albanese asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, in writing, on 26 March 2007:

(1)   Can he confirm if any planes landing at, or taking off from, Kingsford Smith Airport on the morning of 22 March 2007 were at any time given permission to vent fuel; if so, on what basis was permission given; if not will he investigate allegations that planes were sighted by residents releasing fuel on that morning.

(2)   Can he outline the steps his department would take to check whether aircraft were illegally dumping fuel.

(3)   Can he outline a process by which residents might be able to assist his department in detecting such incidents.

Mr Vaile (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   No. The Department will investigate allegations from residents of possible fuel releases if details of the incident(s) are provided to the Department.

(2)   The Department will contact the individual(s) to ascertain the location, date, time and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If the account and circumstances support a prima facie breach of the Air Navigation (Fuel Spillage) Regulations 1999, the Department will request Airservices Australia to provide details of aircraft in the vicinity at the time of the alleged incident and contact the airline(s) involved. Depending on the circumstances and location of the alleged incident, the Department may also request information or a statement from Air Traffic Control duty officers.

(3)   Residents can assist the Department by recording the exact location, date, time and circumstances of instances of possible fuel spillages and promptly providing that information, along with their name and contact details, to the Airservices Australia Noise Enquiry Unit (1300 302 240 or 1800 802 584) or the Department (02 6274 7111). If it is required, an eyewitness must also be prepared to provide a formal statement or declaration for use as evidence in legal action to corroborate or establish if a fuel spill has taken place.