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Labor's assault on Air Safety.



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9 November 2000 A169/2000

LABOR'S ASSAULT ON AIR SAFETY

The Labor Party’s attacks on CASA show that it has learned nothing from the last decade of wrangling about air safety regulation, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

“For over a decade, air safety regulation in this country has been corroded by bitterness and personal abuse. Since 1988, the air safety regulator has had seven chairmen and seven chief executives.

“Ministers have generally appointed good people to these positions. But the chairmen and chief executives never have a chance. They are immediately attacked from all sides, for the most trivial of reasons. They leave in despair with their work undone.

“The destructive cycle has to stop here. I am not going to allow the Labor Party or anyone else to destroy the progress the Government has made in fixing air safety regulation.

“The Chairman of CASA, Dr Scully-Power, and the Director of Aviation Safety, Mick Toller, have my full support.

“The Labor Party recently stooped to questioning Dr Scully-Power’s aviation qualifications.

“Dr Paul Scully-Power has not misrepresented his qualifications to the Government. The Government does not believe, and has never believed, that Dr Scully-Power is a high performance jet pilot. Dr Scully-Power has always said that he is US navy qualified for high performance jet aircraft and US air force qualified for full pressure suit flying.

“Dr Scully-Power has enormous experience as a director and manager of high technology companies and programs. The Government appointed him as Chairman of CASA because of his management and leadership skills, not because of his flying qualifications.

“Dr Scully-Power is a distinguished scientist who spent over twenty years overseas working with organisations such as the US Navy and NASA. He returned to Australia to make a contribution, having been part of the brain drain - and Labor says thanks by dragging his name through the mud,” Mr Anderson said.

Media Contact: Robyn Bain: (02) 6277 7680 / (0408) 027 839

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Friday, 10 November 2000