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Thursday, 3 June 2010
Page: 5146

Mr ALBANESE (Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) (9:09 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill seeks to establish in legislation an increase in the excise applying to aviation fuel.

On 11 May 2010, the Treasurer, the Hon. Wayne Swan, announced as part of the federal budget that the excise on aviation fuel would increase by 0.702c per litre on and from 1 July 2010. This will see the excise on aviation gasoline and aviation kerosene rise from 2.854c per litre to 3.556c per litre. The excise equivalent customs duty on comparable imported aviation fuel will be increased by the same amount.

All the funds raised through this levy will go directly to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Australia’s aviation safety regulator.

The legislation that I introduce today will bring the increase in excise into effect and, together with the Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010, will provide an extra $89.9 million over four years to fund critically important safety activities.

The funds will be used to recruit almost 100 additional front-line safety staff including safety specialists, safety analysts and airworthiness inspectors. This will allow CASA to expand its surveillance activities and fulfil its increasingly complex regulatory responsibilities.

This long-term funding will also ensure that CASA can continue random testing for alcohol and other drugs within the aviation industry; invest in the development and maintenance of safety standards; and provide expanded and ongoing training for its staff.

Full details of the Excise Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010 and the Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010 are contained in the explanatory memorandum. I commend this bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood) adjourned.