Millionaire businessman Dick Smith will speak in Wagga on Thursday in a bid to ramp up pressure on the government to tackle problems in the aviation industry.
The public meeting follows his calls for Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack to factor aviation safety costs in next month’s budget.
Mr Smith said the 30 per cent drop in flight training in the last five years is a result of successive transport ministers ignoring the cost of safety regulation and putting flight training out of reach for many aspiring Australian airline pilots.
“Our flying schools are closing down everywhere,” he said in a statement.
“It’s a crying shame what successive National Party Transport Ministers have done to Australia’s aviation industry with this portfolio.
“This is an industry with an iconic history going back over 100 years including establishing Qantas as the world’s safest airline.”
Mr Smith will host the meeting at 11am on Thursday April 26 at the Wagga RSL Club.