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Transcript 10241

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON. JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP - FEDERAL SECRETARIAT, CANBERRA

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/02/1997

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 10241

14 February 1997
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER
THE HON. JOHN HOWARD MP
DOORSTOP FEDERAL SECRETARIAT, CANBERRA
JRNLST: Do you regret Gabi Hollows' resignation from the Fred Hollows' Foundation?
PRIME MINISTER:
Well I don't know all of the circumstances of it. Obviously her loss to that particular
body is a great shame but that was her decision. It in no way alters my view or the
view of the Government that there should be different people on the CAASA board
because that board needs a lot of people who are experts in safety matters and at all
times we have respected and understood Ms Hollows' expertise in other areas. That
was made very plain. The fact that she has resigned from the Hollows Foundation is
regrettable but that really is a matter for her and she has her reasons and she will no
doubt be asked about them but it doesn't in any way alter, in any way, the
Government's position in relation to the board. They're two separate issues. We said
we wanted a different board. We've been quite openly trying to bring about a different
board. It's in the interests of air safety in Australia that that happens and that that is
our position and the Minister has sought to implement Government policy and he
deserves credit for doing that and credit for passionately pursuing the cause of greater
safety in the Australian skies.
JRNLST: You say in the interest of air safety, why doesn't the Government just double the size
of the CAASA board to get the aviation experience and expertise on there?
PRIME MINISTER:
The most important thing is to get a board which is absolutely focused on the issue of
air safety and that's what John Sharp has been trying to do for a year and there is
obviously a little bit of political payback in the behaviour of the current Chairman of

the Board and I think that's a great pity. The former Government made an absolute
mess of air safety when it was in power. They ought to get out of the way and let the
new Government and the new Minister implement the authority we have from the
people. Now that doesn't reflect on the other qualities of those people but they just
don't have experience in this area. It's a critical area. It's not an area for playing
Canberra games on. It's an area for making sensible decisions in the interests of air
safety for the Australian people.
ends

Transcript 10241