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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3247

Mr BALDWIN (Paterson) (13:58): As member for Paterson and shadow minister for tourism and regional development, today's Regional Aviation Association of Australia conference in Parliament House brings mixed emotions. It is an opportunity to reflect on the great work being done by Australia's regional airlines and by the regional airports they serve. Sadly, this sort of achievement is pulled down by new fees, charges and taxes applied by Labor since 2007. Specifically I refer to the government's decision to cut the $6 million en route subsidies, its commitment to the world's largest carbon tax, the application of new fees to cover airport security, the cuts to Customs and Border Protection Service budgets and a massive increase in passenger movement charges on its watch. I commend the minister for fronting up to the gathering this morning. It was not that long ago—in fact, in 2007—when Minister Ferguson told a similar gathering:

A $30 carbon tax on domestic flights and an end to the promotion of the aviation industry was an elitist tax, brazen in its simplicity, that would kill the Australian industry both domestically and internationally.

I urge the minister to continue to fight this Prime Minister's carbon tax and stay true to his opinions so publicly pronounced in 2007.