Is the Aviation White Paper still relevant?
Not surprisingly the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Mike Mrdak, believes it is. But in asserting the document’s continued relevance at this week’s Waypoint in Canberra, Mrdak did provide some cogent arguments.
“The White Paper provides policy settings which seek to ensure the growth of this industry,” Mrdak said. “And importantly the White Paper set out the economic case; and this is very important because we often we forget about the economic importance of this industry to this nation.
"The White Paper set out the economic case for why policy makers and regulators have to ensure that the Australian aviation industry remains viable and remains able to be a key driver of national economic prosperity.
“The strength of our domestic economy and the capacity to address globally the challenges are underpinned in the investment in this industry more so than in many other industries in this country; and we saw the importance of that last year, the year we’ve just been through, where disruptions from volcanic ash, industrial disputes and the unavailability of services from Qantas and Tiger impacted so heavily on the transport, tourism and freight businesses across this country.
“That’s why I’d say the commitments in the White Paper – safety, employment, innovation and open and competitive markets - are critical economic underpinnings for Australia.
“The White Paper also confirmed the four government aviation policy objectives: to maintain and improve our excellent safety and security record, ensuring our continuing competence and our culture of safety and security; to give the industry the investment planning certainty and incentives to plan investment in the long term enabling the important investment we need in our airlines and our airports and our transport links; to give improved consideration to the interests of travellers and users of our airports and airlines; and to better manage the impact of aviation activities on communities and the environment.”
Now that it has had its time in the sun, is that how you see the White Paper?