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Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Page: 5575


Senator Bob Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, upon notice, on 28 July 2008:

(1) (a) What is the progress of the satellite augmentation system being developed by Airservices Australia, known as the Ground-based Regional Augmentation System; and (b) Have there been plans to halt development of the system.

(2) (a) Is the project still going ahead: if not, will there be a financial loss; and (b) if there will be a loss, will it be incurred by Airservices Australia and charged to the aviation industry or to the taxpayer.


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) —The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

Airservices Australia has advised that:

(1) (a)   and (b) The Ground based Regional Augmentation System (GRAS) project has ceased.

(2) (a)   and (b) The discontinuation of the GRAS project will result in a write-off which will be reflected in the end of year financial results. Airservices operates under a ‘dual till’ environment, with prices for air navigation and Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) services (as regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) set to fund only those services and the prices for other commercial activities (OCA) set to support those activities. The GRAS activities were undertaken as an OCA and were funded through the OCA “till”. Under this arrangement, the prices for air navigation and ARFF will not be impacted. Airservices receives no Government appropriation funding.