ALGA has provided a submission to the Federal Government’s Aviation Green Paper Towards 2050, making several key recommendations from the perspective of the local government sector.

Local governments are generally responsible for managing planning and development around airports, and also lease, manage or own airports of varying scales of operations. 

As such, ALGA advocated for the important role that councils play in ensuring the future operations and safety of airports as well as balancing this with economic and social impacts.

Among other recommendations, ALGA said that the Federal Government should focus on strengthening and establishing formal partnerships and shared decision-making with indigenous communities, and that it should help facilitate engagement between indigenous communities and their local regional or rural airport to help build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled sector. 

ALGA noted that it is a signatory to Closing the Gap and supports any measures that help to address the inequities in mainstream Australian society and the lives and livelihoods of indigenous Australians. 

In its submission, ALGA said in regards to challenges faced in the regional and remote aviation sector when it comes to decarbonisation, that airports in these areas are predominantly owned and operated by councils, totalling 200 in number. 

The submission also states that, of these airports, at least 60 percent are not financially viable, and only remain operational because these councils and their communities are subsidising the ongoing operation of these facilities. 

This means that in the majority of instances, councils cannot afford to invest in the necessary infrastructure to support the adoption of electric and hydrogen technologies.

ALGA said that it is consequently clear that if the Australian, state and territory governments have emissions reduction targets for the sector overall, councils that own and operate rural and regional airports will need substantial support. 

As such ALGA recommended that the Australian, State and Territory governments consider ways in which they can collaborate to help support the decarbonisation of the rural and remote aviation sector as part of the Transport and Infrastructure Net Zero Roadmap and Action Plan

To see the full list of recommendations made by the ALGA, read the full submission here.

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