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Airport fire safety fears new CASA rules would close three regional airport fire stations.

Airport Fire Safety Fears

 

New CASA Rules Would Close Three Regional Airport Fire Stations

 

Martin Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Transport

 

Media Statement - 13 April 2000

 

The Federal Opposition today slammed moves by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to change regulations that will effectively remove Government responsibility for airport firefighting services.

 

"The changes proposed by CASA will put public safety and the safety of airport firefighters at risk, all in the name of reduced costs," Shadow Minister for Transport, Martin Ferguson, said today.

 

"The new regulations will effectively downgrade firefighting capabilities at domestic airports and lead to the closure of three regional airport fire stations - at Rockhampton, Mackay and Karratha," Mr Ferguson said.

 

"This plan lays to waste the Government's so-called Nyngan declaration that there will be no reduction in services in regional Australia.

 

"By transferring responsibility for providing airport fire rescue services from Airservices Australia to airport owners, the plan will create the dangerous situation where airport owners can reduce firefighting standards to cut costs, or charge what they choose.

 

"The plan is flawed because there is no evidence that the airport owners want this safety responsibility.

 

"It is yet another case of the Government removing itself from responsibility for providing a vital service to the community.

 

"This plan means Australia will have less airport fire and rescue protection than any of the four benchmark aviation countries - the US, UK, New Zealand and Canada.

 

"Transport Minister John Anderson must intervene to ensure that aviation safety is not jeopardised."

 

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