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Airservices privatisation plane stupid

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Airservices Privatisation Plane Stupid

The Shadow Minister for Transport, Lindsay Tanner, today called on the Minister for Transport to rule out the privatisation of Airservices Australia, the organisation that controls Australia's airspace and provides air traffic control and fire fighting services at Australia’s major airports.

"Several months ago I asked the Minister for Transport, Mark Vaile, if Airservices Australia was proposing to privatise any of ifs airport services. The Minister in a carefully worded answer said he was not aware of any substantive discussions between airport lessee companies and Airservices.

"Yet an article in this w eek’s Bulletin, which carries a lengthy interview with the CEO of Airservices, Mr Bill Pollard, indicates that this is a very live issue within Airservices Australia and thinking is well advanced.

"Australia’s world class aviation safety record is the result of the high quality air traffic services provided by Airservices and its predecessors. Our airspace is public property and should be m anaged for the public good, not private profit.

“ In addition, it would clearly be untenable for the organisation charged with m anaging the sensitive environmental issues associated with aircraft noise to be a private, not a government body. I am sure that the privatisation of Airservices would only further undermine the G overnm ent’s limited credibility on solving aircraft noise issues in Sydney.

“ A future Labor Government will retain Airservices Australia in public ownership.

“ Mr Vaile has some explaining to do. Either he has misled the Parliament or he is not aware of plans being hatched by Mr Pollard. To clean up this problem, Mr Vaile must now com e out of Mr Pollard’s shadow, show some leadership and give an unqualified guarantee that Airservices Australia will remain in public ownership and continue to provide the range of

public services that gives Australia one of the safest aviation environments in the world."

May 1998'

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner on (03) 9347 5000 or Warren Mundy on 0416 045987