Who foots the bill for airport screening?

THE Leader of The Nationals, Warren Truss put out a media statement on Monday raising concern some airports were seeking to impose security screening charges on smaller regional aircraft which are not required to be screened under Australian government law.

Mr Truss, who is the opposition spokesman for Infrastructure and Transport, certainly brings an alternate point of view to the table.

The deputy chair of Regional Express is John Sharp, a former minister from the Howard government and a member of The Nationals. Mr Sharp became Minister for Transport and Regional Development when the Coalition government under John Howard took office after the 1996 federal election.

Mr Truss in his media release said regional air services in Australia were already facing increasing government imposed cost increases such as the carbon tax and the abolition of the navigation en route subsidy scheme for smaller regional aircraft.

But he does not offer any alternative to what would be a blatant example of cost shifting by the government, leaving Qantas and or the ratepayers of Dubbo to pick up the bill for the security screening.

Federal legislation determined we must have security screening.

Certainly the government was generous with their grants in assisting local governments to buy the necessary equipment but the day-to-day management of the service [about $800,000 a year] also landed in the lap of our council.

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