• Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester. (Steve Hitchen)
    Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester. (Steve Hitchen)

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has called for a united aviation industry to help him take action in Canberra.

Speaking at the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) conference on the Gold Coast last week, Chester said fractured opinion was not helping aviation's cause within the halls of Parliament House.

"There's opportunities for [those of] us who are passionate about aviation to focus that passion in a way that we are not ever splintering in the view we take to state and federal governments," he said.

"One of the really difficult things for a minister is to get a consolidated view from industry, and then have to argue that case on their behalf within cabinet at a state or federal level.

"The worst thing we can do is be splintering in a way that lets governments say 'the industry can't agree with itself'. Once we've got that consolidated view, it's a lot easier for your minister, whether it be at state or federal level, to argue the case on your behalf within the cabinet setting."

Chester's mantra on industry unity has been consistent since he took over the portfolio from Warren Truss, telling a forum held in Tamworth in May 2016 that he was getting very different opinions from industry people and he felt this was a challenge for himself as minister.

Even so, Chester went on to say last week that he felt things were looking up for aviation in Australia.

"I'm opimistic; I'm confident about the future," he said, "but I'm not someone who doesn't recognise we've got some challenges.

"I think we're heading in the right direction."


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