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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14598


Mr LITTLEPROUD (MaranoaMinister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Drought Preparation and Response) (12:30): I thank the member for Grayndler. The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019 is an important bill. Australia has an outstanding aviation safety record due to our strong regulatory framework. However, we need to continue to keep the balance right between risk and regulation. The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2019 ensures that CASA continues to consider the economic and cost impacts on industry and communities when developing aviation safety standards. This bill is designed to support a regulatory environment which continues to maintain confidence in the safety of aviation in Australia without unnecessarily restricting innovation and growth. It is important to note that this bill is not intended to, and would not in any way, impede CASA's ability to make operational decisions in relation to safety. CASA must be allowed to ensure aviation in Australia is safe and reliable.

In practical terms, the bill relates to CASA's work in developing and promulgating standards, taking into account the differing risks posed by those sectors and not to individual decisions or directions. The bill will not, for instance, alter CASA's ability to make its recent decision to stop flights of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on safety grounds. Safety of air navigation will remain the most important consideration of CASA when it develops legislative safety standards. But CASA will also continue to take into consideration the cost—something I know is a key priority for our general aviation sector.

I thank the shadow minister for transport, Anthony Albanese, for his bipartisan support. I am pleased that this bill will support local aviation businesses and communities while ensuring CASA can still do its vital work of keeping us safe in our skies. I'd like to thank honourable members for their constructive contribution to the debate. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.