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Minister Anderson's gross deception of the travelling public.



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Martin Ferguson MP

Shadow Minister for Urban and Regional Development Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

26 August 2003

MINISTER ANDERSON’S GROSS DECEPTION OF THE TRAVELLING PUBLIC

A report that aviation safety investigation capacity has been halved in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is proof that the Minister for Transport has bankrupted his Department and aviation safety is the first casualty.

As a result of the ATSB’s new powers to investigate rail accidents, resources for the investigation of aviation accidents have been cut, contrary to promises from the Minister for Transport.

Earlier this year Labor exposed the Department of Transport’s dire financial situation after one of Australia’s leading insolvency firms was brought in to help sort out its financial mess.

This is a major hit on aviation accident investigation and its important role in finding out the causes of aviation accidents and preventing recurrences.

When the Howard Government legislated to extend the ATSB’s role to investigate rail accidents, the Parliament was assured that existing Budget allocations would not be affected.

Indeed, the Transport Safety Investigation Bill Explanatory Memorandum stated:

Existing budget allocations for aviation and marine investiga ions will be unaffected by this Bill. t

This is a blatant untruth and it is a gross deception of the travelling public.

The Minister must now explain the extent to which the Parliament has been duped and aviation investigation curbed by the ATSB’s expanded role.

The Minister uses smoke and mirrors tricks to create the appearance that he has the capacity to deliver on commitments he makes, but he can’t and is only driving his Department further into the ground.

Aviation safety and the travelling public must not bear the brunt of the Howard Government’s Budget incompetence and penny pinching, nor the incompetence of the Minister for Transport.

Further Information:

Blythe Hamilton 02 6277 4753 or 0407 099 104