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Entsch grossly misleads on aviation charging in Cairns.



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Entsch Grossly Misleads on Aviation Charging in Cairns

Senator McLucas today said that comments by Warren Entsch, Member for Leichhardt in the Cairns Post when he said, “there had been repeated reductions in the charges over the past six years” were an outrageous misrepresentation of the truth.

Senator McLucas said, “Mr Entsch knows very well that aviation charges have increased at Cairns airport under the Howard Government’s charging policy (See attached table).

“Under a Federal Labor Government it used to cost the same amount to land an aircraft in Cairns as it did in Brisbane, Sydney or anywhere else.

“Aviation charges increased from $8.42 per tonne to $12.58 per tonne, an almost 50% increase in charges since the Howard Government changed the charging policy.

“Costs have plummeted in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne compared with regional airports like Cairns. In July 2002 it will cost $12.58 per tonne to land a Virgin Blue aircraft in Cairns compared with $6.42 in Brisbane and $5.51 in Sydney.

“The tourism industry knows that aviation charges have been a major deterrent to tourism growth in the Far North following the Howard Governments change in policy.

“That is why Advance Cairns has identified that reducing these charges is a Number One priority.

“Mr Entsch today on radio described the 9.9% rise in aviation charges scheduled for July as simply a ‘little blip’. His hypocrisy and arrogance astounds me. This is exactly the same comment we heard from the Howard Government following the collapse of Ansett last year,” Senator McLucas said.

“I have been calling for a return to Network Pricing for aviation charges that would significantly reduce charges at the Cairns airport. The Aviation Taskforce report chaired by Bob Manning agrees with me, Advance Cairns agrees with me, the chair of the Cairns Port Authority Clive Skarrot agrees with me. The only one out of touch here is Mr Entsch.

“Mr Entsch should stop his personal attacks and get on with the job of lobbying his Liberal Government to reduce aviation charges at regional airports like Cairns.

“We need a fair system of aviation charging in this country not the outrageous rubbish we have been hearing from Mr Entsch on this issue,” Senator McLucas concluded.

Ends Tuesday 30 April 2002 For further information contact Senator Jan McLucas 07 4031 6009 Jim Turnour 0418 770484 …2

Media Release Media Release Media Release Media Release Senator Jan McLucas Senator Jan McLucas Senator Jan McLucas Senator Jan McLucas Labor Senator for Queensland

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Airservices Australia Charges Terminal Navigation Charges ($ per tonne)

Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Charges ($ per tonne)

Total ($)

July 1997 5.19 3.23 8.42 July 1998 7.35 3.32 10.67 July 1999 7.24 3.25 10.49 July 2000 * 7.96 3.54 11.50 July 2001 * 7.96 3.54 11.50 July 2002 * 8.75 3.83 12.58 * Includes GST The Howard government changed charging policy for aerodrome rescue and fire fighting services in July 1997 and terminal navigation services in July 1998.