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Thursday, 20 June 1996
Page: 1893

Senator ALSTON (Minister for Communications and the Arts)(10.10 a.m.) —On behalf of Senator Kemp, I move:

That the order of the Senate of 29 November 1994, relating to the consideration of legislation, not apply to the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 1996.

The purpose of this bill is to increase the size of the board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to allow for the addition of a deputy chairperson and an additional ordinary member. It is essential that the bill be considered in the winter parliamentary sittings to ensure there is no undue delay in the government's plans to enhance the effectiveness of Australia's aviation safety regulatory system.

The passage of the bill will enable the government to fulfil its election commitment to appoint to the board of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority members with practical aviation industry experience. The Senate would be aware that attempts to achieve this objective by negotiation with present board members have not been successful. This bill therefore allows for an alternative method of ensuring that Australia does get back to having a world-class air safety system as soon as possible.

The appointment of additional board members with aviation experience is a key additional initiative in the process of developing a cohesive and close-knit organisation with a strong cooperative relationship with the aviation industry. It is essential that we achieve an appropriate top structure of CASA as a matter of priority. Any delay in this legislation would severely set back the government's program to enhance the aviation safety regulatory system.

   Question put:

   That the motion (Senator Alston's ) be agreed to.