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Australian Government moves to strengthen safety oversight of airlines
13 February 2009

The Australian Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government introduced new legislation that will strengthen the nation’s two key aviation safety agencies and their oversight of the airlines.

The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill will create a small expert Board of five members for CASA – Australia’s independent aviation safety regulator. The new Board will include CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety and provide high-level direction to the organisation’s regulatory and safety oversight role.
The legislation also:
* Improves CASA’s ability to oversight foreign carriers flying into Australia;
* Strengthens the provisions for preventing operators from continuing to operate services where CASA considers it unsafe for them to continue; and
* Closes a gap in the current legislation by introducing an additional offence of negligently carrying or consigning dangerous goods on an aircraft.

Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill seeks to reinforce the independence of the ATSB by establishing it as a separate statutory agency with a full-time Chief Commissioner and two part-time Commissioners.
The legislation also gives the ATSB new powers to compel agencies and operators within the aviation industry to respond to its formal recommendations within 90 days, giving the public greater confidence that the lessons from past accidents will be acted upon in a timely manner.
(Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government )