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Thursday, 5 May 1994
Page: 393

(Question No. 1284)

Senator Ian Macdonald asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 30 March 1994:

  With reference to an Estimates Committee A hearing held on 25 February 1994, during which Senator Ian Macdonald inquired of officers, at the time of questioning a Mr Merner, the Acting Deputy Secretary, and the Minister, if the term AAAC meant anything to him and both Mr Merner and Senator McMullan indicated that they did not know what the term meant:

  (1) Has the department had an observer attend every meeting of AAAC since its formation in 1990 and were Ms Buttsworth, a principal adviser, and Dr Milloy, the Assistant Secretary, aware of what AAAC was.

  (2) Were both Ms Buttsworth and Dr Milloy present in the estimates committee hearing when Senator Ian Macdoanld raised the question.

  (3) Has Ms Buttsworth actually attended a meeting of AAAC as a departmental observer.

  (4) Why did these officers fail to respond to Senator Macdonald's question.

Senator Collins —The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The Australian Aviation Advisory Committee (AAAC), which was established in 1990, provides independent advice to the Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority and the Board Safety Committee. The Department has observer status on the committee and a Departmental representative, normally the Division Head, regularly attends meetings. Both Ms Buttsworth and Dr Milloy have attended AAAC meetings.

  (2) Neither Ms Buttsworth nor Dr Milloy were present at the estimates committee hearing when Senator Macdonald referred to the AAAC. Both officers were present at the hearing when the committee considered the Department's aviation sub-program (sub-program 1.1), and answered questions put by committee members. The officers left the hearing after the committee moved to sub-program 2.1 (Road and Rail Policy). Senator Macdonald asked his question about the AAAC under sub-program 4.2 (Management Support and Advice).

  (3) Refer to (1) above.

  (4) Refer to (2) above.