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Thursday, 17 February 2000
Page: 13805


Mr HATTON (4:26 PM) —I concur with the comments made by the member for Watson and the comments made by the shadow minister. As the local member for the electorate of Blaxland—


Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. I was remarkably tolerant of the member for Watson in that I did not interrupt his flow on matters which are clearly outside the ambit of the bill. Whilst I was very tolerant on that occasion, I do not intend to be tolerant for the next two.


Mr Leo McLeay —On the point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: this bill is about the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. It is about airline safety. The minister has moved moving amendments about airline safety. If the civil aviation authority want to turn Bankstown airport into a regional airport and the second airport for Sydney, that is the most unsafe, stupid thing you could possibly do.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Jenkins)—The honourable member will not debate the issue by way of the point of order. I would remind honourable members that the question before the House is that the amendments made by the Senate be agreed to. Honourable members should recognise that that is what is actually before the House at present.


Mr HATTON —I will go on to the matters of safety in relation to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the length of time it took for this to get through the Senate, and all of the problems we have had in Sydney and in particular in the airport at Bankstown. Bankstown is the largest general aviation airport in this country. In the past months we have seen, with the fuel crisis affecting every one of the operators at Bankstown airport, that there have been direct, apparent, clear safety problems for the whole of general aviation right throughout Australia but in particular for all of those businesses that are in my electorate at Bankstown airport. What should be the focus of the administration of Bankstown airport and the Sydney Airport Corporation, which governs Bankstown airport's operation? The focus should be on the safety of those aircraft. The focus should be on fixing the fuel crisis, on getting those planes back into the air.


Mrs Bronwyn Bishop —I again raise a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I think that the member is way outside the guidelines that you gave him at the beginning. I repeat that I was very tolerant and did not interrupt the member for Watson. I do think that the member for Blaxland must observe your guidelines and speak to the bill, which is a machinery bill dealing with regulatory fees.


Mr HATTON —On the point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: the bill deals with a number of things. It deals with fees, it deals with regulations and it deals with the whole matter of safety.


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —I remind the honourable member for Blaxland that the question before the chair is that the amendments be agreed to. It is akin to a consideration in detail debate. It is the schedule of amendments that had been circulated, and I invite the honourable member to continue his contribution in that context.


Mr HATTON —Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, I will. In his second reading speech, which is pertinent to these amendments because it goes directly to the bill, the minister said that this bill will set up a regulatory regime to allow a clear, concise and outcome focused regime for civil aviation in Australia. I could not be more pertinent to the bill in relating the problems there have been at Bankstown. Instead of having their eye on the ball, the Sydney Airport Corporation have been doing the government's dirty work for it. They have been trying to push Bankstown as a regional airport. They have not been concerned about safety considerations. What they have been trying to do is take


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member is straying a little.


Mr HATTON —Do we have a clear, concise and outcome focused safety regulatory regime in Australia? It has taken more than a year to get us to this point. We have a massive safety crisis at Bankstown at the moment. The government should be concentrating on fixing that. It should not be concentrating, as it has through the Sydney Airport Corporation, on trying to nobble Bankstown and all those operators attempting to deal with safety issues. It is a key and important thing for the people of Bankstown that our general aviation airport stay as it is, that it does not get rolled into a regional airport, with resultant massive safety problems from trying to combine two separate operations, that the government stops the phoney war and that it makes the final decision about a real second airport for Sydney. (Time expired)