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Australia’s airport firefighters circulate petition

October 16, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Australia’s airport firefighters, grouped in the United Firefighters’ Union of Australia (UFUA) Aviation Branch, are circulating a petition claiming that Australia’s airport firefighting services are at “the lowest level of any developed country in the world” and are about to get worse unless action is taken.

The petition, circulated to affiliates of the Australian Confederation of Trade Unions (ACTU), says services at smaller airports are woefully inadequate.

It reads as follows:

“Australian regulations governing the establishment of aviation rescue and firefighting services at our airports are already at the lowest level of any developed country in the world – and the Federal Government is now supporting a move to weaken them even further putting the lives and safety of passengers and airport staff at risk.

“Currently the regulations are such that before Aviation Rescue and Firefighting services are established there has to be at least  350,000 passengers travelling through the airport a year.   In other words,  any airport with less than 350,000 passengers does not have a dedicated Aviation Rescue and Firefighting crew.

“The figure of 350,000 passengers is already too high in comparison to international standards.

“It should be noted that Aviation Rescue Firefighters receive specialised training and are located to be able to respond within a window of three minutes to maximise the potential of saving life and perform a successful intervention in the event of an aircraft incident.

“Despite our concerns regarding the 350,000 threshold being too high in comparison to international standards, there is currently a proposal by the Federal Minister and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to raise the threshold for the establishment of a rescue and firefighting service to 500,000 passengers a year.

“The safety ramifications of such changes are significant, and if implemented there will be flow-on effects nationally and internationally in terms of passenger confidence that will be detrimental to Australian tourism, businesses, infrastructure and regional development and access.

“The UFUA Aviation Branch is campaigning to stop this dangerous move that puts airline and airport profits above the safety of passengers.

“We are asking for your support – please distribute this link to an electronic petition calling on Minister Darren Chester to stop these changes and instead have proper fact based regulation that meets international standards.

“This is an urgent issue and we are seeking broad public support in order to influence the Government. The link below will subscribe you to a petition letter to go to the Minister and those responsible for your safety when you fly. Simply add your name to the petition email.”

The link is:

Edited by Peter Needham

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