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Wednesday, 28 October 1970


Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

(1)   Is it intended to change the personal licensing system applying to 5 staff categories known as Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers' now provided for by the aircraft Navigation Orders and Regulations: If so, what is the nature of the proposed changes.

(2)   Have efforts been made to ascertain the views of the Radio Institute of Australia and the Licensed Aircraft Engineering Association with respect to the proposed changes: If so, wilh what result.

(3)   ls it likely that replacement of present L.A.M.E. licensing arrangements with a system of organisational licensing' to be undertaken by airline companies and equipment contracting companies would reduce the present high standard of licensed aircraft maintenance engineers and provoke staff dissatisfaction.


Mr Swartz - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Changes to the system of licensing of aircraft maintenance engineers are at present under consideration. The review which is being conducted follows an assessment of the application of the existing system to the newer and more complex aircraft which are coming into use in Australia. Modern practices, proposed and in some cases currently being used, by the large international and domestic operators overseas are being taken into account.

No change is contemplated in the existing 5 categories of licence but consideration is being given to the introduction of an additional licence to be known as a Route Station category licence for maintenance personnel based at transit stations where scheduled maintenance is not normally performed on aircraft. This would have application to operators of large aircraft in regular public transport operations, lt is envisaged that the basic qualifications and specific type training required for the issue of the proposed new category licence would be of a standard compatible with the duties and responsibilities to be exercised by the holder of such a licence.

(2)   In May 1970, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers' Association and the Professional Radio Employees' Institute were notified by letter of the broad proposals for changes to the aircraft maintenance engineer licensing system. These 2 organisations were advised that the broad proposals were being translated into amended Air Navigation Orders, the drafts of which would be sent to them for their consideration and constructive comment. The draft Air Navigation Orders are still being prepared and will soon be available for circulation and comment.

Industrial organisations other than the 2 already mentioned have been kept informed through the Secretary of the ACTU.

(3)   The changes under consideration in the system of licensing of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers employed in major regular public transport airlines if subsequently implemented would not reduce the standards of training and examination " for the issue of the basic licence. Under the current system, aircraft or equipment type endorsements are given by the Department on the basis of the applicant having been trained and examined by the airline operator on a particular type of aircraft or equipment. The training and examination system is under Departmental surveillance.

Under the new proposals, persons required to certify maintenance performed on major types of aircraft employed in regular public transport operations would still need to pass the Department's examinations for the issue of the basic qualification. The aircraft or equipment type endorsement currently entered in the licences by the Department would be replaced by an endorsement given by the operator. The training examination system used by the operator would continue to be under Departmental surveillance. It is neither intended nor expected that changes proposed in the method of licence endorsement would reduce the present high standard of licensed aircraft maintenance engineers.

Poverty in Australia (Question No. 1935)


Mr Hayden asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

Can he bring up to date the estimates of Professor Ronald Henderson presented at the Australian Institute of Political Science Summer School on Poverty in Australia at Canberra on 25th to27th January 1969 in a paper entitled The Dimension of Poverty in Australia for (a) substantially increasing child endowment payments and having them treated as taxable income and (b) the elimination of tax concessions for children and the provision of this money for child endowment.


Mr Bury - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: 1 do not regard it as a proper discharge of my functions to bring up to date estimates prepared privately and without official confirmation or endorsement.

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