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Howard Government bully tactics turn to airspace reform.

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Martin Ferguson MP

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

2 April 2004


In an extraordinary and alarming move, the Government has decided to completely control the full implementation of the flawed National Airspace System and not allow industry professionals to get anywhere near it.

By pulling the implementation of NAS into the Department he controls and away from Airservices Australia - a Statutory Authority - the Minister for Transport John Anderson is attempting to muzzle any opposition to the introduction of the NAS.

The decision continues the trend of the Howard Government to bully the Australian Public Service and Statutory Authorities into submission.

In emulating the methods used by the Prime Minister in the Mick Keelty affair, the Minister for Transport is doing whatever he can to silence critics of the NAS.

It follows the courageous decision by Airservices Australia at a Senate Estimates hearing on 17 February this year to come clean, admit the problems with the NAS and expose its implementation as a joke and a risk to air safety.

Yet the Minister has remained silent and in hiding on NAS until now and rather than address the legitimate concerns of aviation industry professionals and undertake a thorough and much needed review, he’s simply gagged Airservices Australia.

What’s happened to Airservices risk analysis of the changes and the full review of the NAS implementation?

The Howard Government is clearly determined to plough ahead with NAS whatever the risk to the travelling public.

The Minister for Transport, John Anderson, stands condemned for his arrogant attitude towards the safety of Australia’s aviation industry.