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Monday, 10 September 2012
Page: 9956

Mr ALBANESE (GrayndlerLeader of the House and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport) (15:14): I rise to sum up the debate on this legislation. I thank all members for their contributions. This is a bill that will modernise Australia's arrangements for air carriers' liability under the Civil Aviation (Carriers' Liability) Act 1959 and the Damage by Aircraft Act 1999 by increasing the much-outdated caps on carriers' liability for domestic travel. The $500,000 cap was last increased in 1994 and under this bill it will be increased to $725,000 to account for inflation. Importantly, the bill will also increase the level of mandatory insurance for airlines. The bill will incorporate the principle of contributory negligence so that compensation payments may be reduced where the victim was partially responsible for the damage. The bill will also include a right of contribution so that defendants to a claim under the Damage by Aircraft Act 1999 can seek contribution from other parties who may have contributed to the damage suffered by the person bringing the claim. This bill will ensure that victims are adequately compensated for in the unfortunate event of a domestic aircraft accident. I commend the legislation to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.