Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack has said he will collaborate with reform attempts for general aviation, but added that getting any changes to the Civil Aviation Act through parliament could be difficult.
Speaking to delegates and observers at the Australian General Aviation Alliance (AGAA) summit in Wagga Wagga yesterday, McCormack also said he looked forward to the outcomes of the summit.
"I do want to work with you in a genuine collaborative, co-operative way to help general aviation.
"I am in no doubt about the passion in the GA industry, and whilst this summit will highlight some of the challenges you are facing, that passion can be used to meet those challenges, and I look forward to receiving the summary at the end of your conference to see what we can do to help bring about the change that you desire."
The aim of the summit is for the assembled associations to agree on changes to the Civil Aviation Act 1988 that are thought to be necessary for growth and survival of the general aviation industry. Such changes will need to pass through parliament, which McCormack highlighted would be difficult when the Liberal-National Party Coalition has a slender majority in the lower house.
"The fact remains that any change has to be able to pass the parliament," McCormack said, "not always easy when you're in a one-seat majority in that particular parliament. When you're in a parliament when the government of the day does not have control of the senate."
McCormack said he had been in contact with Shadow Minister for InfrastructureTransport Cities and Regional Developement Anthony Albanese, and both had agreed to do what they can to help general aviation.
"I want to work in a bipartisan way to help all industries," McCormack added, "not just aviation, but indeed anything that we can do in the transport space, indeed in infrastructure to help bring about much needed benefits for our community.
McCormack continued on to say that the requirement to take the cost impact into account in regulation was enshrined in the Statement of Expectations provided to CASA in March 2017.
"These are not just words," he said, "the Statement of Expectations is a legislative instrument and I expect the board of CASA to ensure it's requirements are indeed met.
"I can assure you I will work in partnership with our aviation agencies and the industry in tackling the challenges and opportunites for the GA sector."