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Howard Government cutting aviation safety jobs and services at Adelaide Airport.

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Martin Ferguson - Howard Government Cutting Aviation Safety Jobs And Services At Adelaide Airport Monday, 15 October 2001

ALP News Statements

Howard Government Cutting Aviation Safety Jobs And Services At Adelaide Airport Martin Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Transport

Media Statement - 12 October 2001

The Howard Government has cut 149 aviation safety staff at Adelaide Airport since September 1998 and is pushing ahead with plans to shed more, Shadow Transport Minister, Martin Ferguson, said in Adelaide today.

The new job cuts are part of a plan by Airservices Australia to consolidate Adelaide's air traffic control Terminal Control Units (TCUs) into Melbourne and further cost cutting in the technical areas.

Transport Minister John Anderson directed Airservices Australia to back off the plan to shift the Cairns TCU to Brisbane, but has refused to keep these services in Adelaide and Perth.

The Howard Government must address the concerns over the impact of this plan on aviation safety. If the plan proceeds it will also mean another 29 highly skilled jobs will go from Adelaide.

Two recent incidents at Adelaide indicate that the system is under strain:

one was an incident in which a 737 approached Anzac Highway instead of the runway; and ● a second occurred when a 737 misidentified the runway in an approach during poor weather to runway 05 that does not have an Instrument Landing System in place. ●

The report in this week's Bulletin magazine that Airservices Australia has had its annual revenue slashed by 25% in the wake of the Ansett crisis sounds a warning that further strain may be placed on Australia's air traffic service provider.

The best thing the Minister for Transport can do for aviation safety and services is to back Labor's plans to get Ansett planes flying to get aviation moving again in Australia. This is a credible plan that will help jobs and Airservices' revenue.

The last thing he should do is allow Airservices Australia to continue to cut safety jobs and services, to deal with the crisis in the wake of the Ansett collapse - a crisis caused largely by the Government's

stubbornness and mismanagement.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.