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More blunders in Labor’s regional airport security plan.

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The Hon John Anderson MP Minister for Transport and Regional Services

6th September 2004

More Blunders in Labor’s Regional Airport Security Plan


Labor’s regional airport security plan is riddled with mistakes and inconsistencies. It shows that Mark Latham and Labor cannot be trusted to get the details of policy right - and on security issues, it’s the details that count.

Labor has promised to provide 17 airports with security screening equipment, even though Australia’s security experts consider that the current threat to regional aviation is low.

Labor claims that its list consists of regional airports that do not have passenger screening equipment and that handle more than 50,000 passengers a year. Labor’s list is full of mistakes, as the table below shows:

Airports that currently handle more than 50,000 passengers per year, but would not receive screening equipment under Labor.

Airports that already have screening equipment, but appear on Latham’s list anyway.

! Mildura (112,300) ! Port Hedland

! Orange (50,700) ! Proserpine

Labor doesn’t have a policy. It has an embarrassing fiasco, and it still hasn’t explained why it wants regional airline passengers to pay an extra levy of up to $8 per ticket to cover the operational costs of equipment that simply isn’t needed.

In contrast to Labor’s policy shambles, the Coalition has a careful and comprehensive plan to protect 146 regional airports across Australia, not just the 17 announced by Labor.

Under our plan, which totals $83 million:

• AFP Rapid Deployment Teams will be based in capital cities and will have a capacity to respond to threats at regional airports.

• 146 airports - not just the 17 announced by Labor - will receive screening equipment and the staff training necessary to begin passenger screening within 12 hours of a change in threat level.

• Regional airports will receive $35 million in grants to upgrade their security with new fences, lighting and security systems.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 0419 233989 Bill McKinley 02 62777680 / 0407 701034

Bill McKinley Communications Adviser Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Leader of The Nationals Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Tel: +61 2 6277 7680 Fax: +61 2 6273 4126