Bill's Speeches

SPEECH - STATEMENT ON INDULGENCE – ESSENDON AIRPORT INCIDENT - CANBERRA - MONDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2017

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

I thank the Prime Minister for his words. 

My electorate borders three parts of the Essendon airport - west, south and east. 

We got the news, through social media, the way bad news does, it seems to get out pretty quickly. 

The pictures of the plume of smoke; very dense, oily and black. 

And of course as the Prime Minister said, it was the death of four American tourists. 

Golfers going to King Island and their families had to be informed at the Hyatt Hotel by the police just as the news was still all breaking.  

And of course the pilot, Max Quartermain, very experienced. 

It's a terrible tragedy. 

I know where the plane crashed. 

It's where we shop, it's where my family goes sometimes, as I know other members would, at the Essendon DFO. 

The area has had plane crashes in the past. 

Matthews Avenue, where a family was killed. 

There's been another near-miss. 

The Australian Transport Safety Board, and I thank both my Shadow Minister and the Minister for Transport for keeping us informed, is going to investigate. The coroner is going to investigate it. 

It was a catastrophic failure. 

The plane got up to about 200ft and a mayday was issued and it banked left and we'll find out as best we can what happened from the experts. 

But what I also want to just say here is that plane crashes are very uncommon, but when they do, I think they have an impact on communities which is much more perhaps than other tragedies because we fly, we can imagine it happening, we can imagine shopping near airports. 

I also want to say that on that morning, I also thought of the Prime Minister - these things bring back memories. 

I congratulate the first responders. 

All Australians express our sympathies to the families and to the family of the pilot as well. 

If that DFO, if that had happened an hour later, that's a very crowded place. So I don’t know if there can be any solace taken from that but the first responders were outstanding. 

And I hope that we find out what happened but today it's about condolences. 

May they rest in peace.  

ENDS

 


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