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Vaile announces Review of Air Safety Regulation and Investigation.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Mark Vaile MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of the Nationals

05 October 2007 158MV/2007

VAILE ANNOUNCES REVIEW OF AIR SAFETY REGULATION AND INVESTIGATION

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Mark Vaile, today announced a review of the relationship between the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, with the aim of identifying potential areas for improved aviation safety outcomes through better co-operation and co-ordination.

Mr Vaile said the review was an important part of the Government's response to the Queensland Coroner's Inquest into the aircraft crash at Lockhart River.

He announced that he has asked Mr Russell Miller AM, a senior partner with Minter Ellison to undertake the review.

"In bringing down his findings on the Lockhart River crash, the Coroner raised concerns about the working relationship between the safety investigator, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), and the safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). He recommended that the Minister for Transport consider engaging an external consultant to assess whether high level intervention is required.

"I am pleased to announce the appointment of an eminent aviation figure and legal expert to implement the Coroners recommendation," Mr Vaile said.

"Russell Miller AM will undertake a review into the potential areas for improved relationships between the ATSB and CASA so as to enhance the safety of passenger transport operations."

Russell Miller has extensive experience in aviation and administrative law, and in working with aviation agencies. He was a founding Commissioner of the International Air Services Commission, a former Chair of the International Bar Association's Aviation

Committee and has held a series of directorships and government appointments.

Mr Miller will provide his report to Mr Vaile in December.

"The Australian Government has announced that it will do whatever it can to ensure that the Lockhart River tragedy is not repeated. The review is part of a series of measures aimed at ensuring improved safety outcomes," Mr Vaile said.

Terms of Reference attached

Media Contacts

10/10/2007 http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/mv/releases/2007/october/158mv_2007.htm

ATTACHMENT

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Review of the relationship between the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

Background

In bringing down his findings on 17 August 2007 into the Inquest into the 2005 Aircraft Crash at Lockhart River, the State Coroner of Queensland, Mr Michael Barnes expressed concerns about the interaction and working relationship between the ATSB and CASA.

In this regard, the Coroner recommended that "the Federal Minister for Transport consider engaging an external consultant to assess whether high level intervention is warranted."

In publicly responding to the Coroner, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon Mark Vaile MP advised that he noted the Coroner's recommendations in this area and that he would act to implement the recommendation immediately. He further stated that he regards "the safety of the fare paying passenger...of paramount importance."

Terms of Reference

The review will consider the respective statutory roles and responsibilities of CASA and the ATSB and the relationship that has developed between the agencies and provide advice on matters including:

Ñ whether the objects and provisions of the legislation (the Civil Aviation Act 1988

and the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 and relevant regulations and instruments made under these Acts) governing the operations of both ATSB and CASA give clear primacy to the objective of promoting the safety of passenger transport operations; Ñ the adequacy of the current legislative provisions in ensuring that information

which may contribute to improved aviation safety can be effectively and promptly obtained by agencies and communicated between the agencies; Ñ the extent to which the interaction, or any overlap, of the respective Acts creates

barriers to effective safety action, communication and interaction between CASA and ATSB; Ñ the adequacy of current arrangements for the development and review of draft

ATSB investigation reports, safety action reports and recommendations; Ñ the adequacy and effectiveness of current arrangements for responses to draft

ATSB investigation reports, safety action reports and safety recommendations; Ñ the role and value of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place between

CASA and the ATSB, and areas where the MOU can be strengthened or improved to achieve better working relationships between the agencies; and Ñ potential areas for improved co-operation and better co-ordination of safety

investigation and information sharing.

The Review will provide recommendations regarding ways of ensuring the most effective possible working relationships between the agencies given their statutory responsibilities.

A written report is to be provided to the Minister by 21 December 2007.

Tanya Cleary ( Mr Vaile's Office ) 02 6277 7680 / 0418 615 280

10/10/2007 http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/mv/releases/2007/october/158mv_2007.htm