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Wednesday, 3 December 2003
Page: 23598


Mrs DE-ANNE KELLY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade) (1:15 PM) —One of the key objectives of this legislation reform process is to develop a more informed procedure for the carriage of persons in lawful custody. The current draft regulations impose more stringent information-sharing requirements for persons in custody than ever before. The opposition has proposed an amendment that information about persons in custody on a prescribed aircraft must be provided to the pilot in charge of an aircraft at least 24 hours prior to the operation of the flight, unless the pilot agrees otherwise.

The government considers that this amendment is window-dressing. The quality of the information provided is as significant as timeliness. The government is not concerned about appearances but about working with key stakeholders to develop an even more robust framework for the carriage of persons in custody. More importantly, the Aviation Transport Security Bill was designed to act as a framework for aviation security outcomes, with specific detail housed under the regulations. It is inappropriate for the proposed detail to be included under principal legislation. This is a matter for the Aviation Transport Security Regulations and should not delay the passage of the Aviation Transport Security Bill 2003.

The major issue is the definition of `persons in custody'. As I have already stated, this is to be defined under the Aviation Transport Security Regulations. The government supports the timely provision of information about persons in custody to aircraft operators, but cannot support this amendment until its implications are clarified under the Aviation Transport Security Regulations. The department is currently working with all stakeholders to enable the safe carriage of persons in custody and to ensure that the government's aviation security objectives are met.