Warren Truss, the minister who unlike so many of his predecessors managed to get work started on building an airport at Sydney’s Badgerys Creek, has resigned from parliament.
The veteran politician stepped down as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, as well as leader of the National Party, on February 11.
Truss told parliament in his farewell speech he retires hopeful of being able to see the Badgerys Creek airport up and running.
“When you leave, there is a lot of unfinished business,” Truss told parliament in his farewell speech.
“I would particularly love to have been here for the landing of the first aircraft at Badgerys Creek airport. But that would be another 10 years.
“It will be 2025, and I hope I am still alive to see it land for the first time. That is a project that I have been very excited about and delighted to have been a part of bringing to fruition.”
First elected to parliament in 1990 as the member for Wide Bay, Truss became leader of National Party of Australia in 2007 and has had two stints at Transport Minister.
In his current term as Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development and the responsible minister for aviation-related matters, Truss ordered an independent review of Australia’s aviation regulatory system in 2013.
The Aviation Safety Regulatory Review made 37 recommendations, of which 32 were accepted in full by the government.
Elsewhere, Truss also directed the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to take another look at the Pel-Air Westwind corporate jet ditching off the coast of Norfolk Island in 2009, after the ATSB’s original report was strongly criticised in an independent review conducted by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
And the veteran politician has also been the responsible minister that settled on Badgerys Creek as the site for a second Sydney airport.
A second senior government minister – Andrew Robb the Minister for Trade – has also resigned from parliament ahead of the next election.
Truss and Robb have forged new bilateral services agreements with the likes of Canada, Chile, China, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, expanding available capacity available for both Australian and foreign carriers.
Robb also led the Australian government delegation in recently concluded negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement between 12 countries in the Pacific Rim.