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Old 11th Dec 2014, 20:04
  #2526 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Styx Houseboat Park.
Posts: 2,053
s379 and all that.

Brother Sarcs is quite correct, the airports imbroglio was started by the Bill Heffernan in estimates and had it nor been for the efforts of one Fawcett Esq. the smoke and mirrors show may just have evaded the wily 'Heff', not for wont of trying, for he could smell something, but for lack of a 'technical' expertise, he was unaware of needing. The secondary airport skeleton needs flesh on it's bones, if we are to understand what, precisely it is. Start by downloading - s379- from the parliament website. It's free and an easy down load, takes about 20 seconds. In the index find 'Turn 110'; this opens at P127 and runs into 128. If you start @:-

Senator FAWCETT: Gentlemen, a number of individuals and aviation associations have criticised—in fact, some have condemned in quite strong words—both the minister and the department for their handling of the issues around commercial development on Bankstown and Archerfield airports. I would like to know if you would make an opening statement about how you see the department's role in interacting with airport operators, the minister and CASA in terms of that process.
and finish @:

Senator FAWCETT: If I can continue, all I am doing is highlighting an example. We have had the secretary tell us that everything is rosy. I have three or four examples where quite clearly the process of checking, verification and independent audit of the advice, whether it is given by the airport operator, by a consultant or by CASA in some cases has not been taken up and acted on appropriately by the department. That is the issue at hand, so all that detail was merely an example where due diligence has not been applied to a process and the end result is operational restrictions on people at the airport, which flies directly in the face of the stated intention of providing paths for growth for the airport.
It gives you an inkling of 'what's afoot'. I got very curious about just who was managing Archerfield airport, slipping in the 'restrictions' and issuing the no-go Notams etc; and wondered if there was some covert 'assistance' being provided from that office to make full use of the airfield 'difficult'. To my great surprise, the manager at the time finished up carrying McComics handbag and forgetting to put fuel in the Comcar – who'da thunk it...Well, fancy that, as Mama would say.

The following couple of pages are interesting, if you want to join the public service. The grasshopper technique in all it's hoary glory. ATSB for this, CASA for that, ASA for the other; no one responsible for anything – a merry-go-round which ejects the dizzy rider into the hall of smoke and mirrors. Where facts, like those who run the departments are firmly tied to the apron strings of the Murky Machiavellian.

P 130 - Senator FAWCETT: My point is that this is not just around Archerfield. It is also around the Sydney Basin, and this is a clear indication that what has been put in place in terms of a process is not being applied, monitored or audited. My question is: what checks and balances are in place from the department to make sure that the processes that are laid down are actually being followed and adhered to? What independent body audits or checks the application of these processes?
It's also interesting to note the difference in the 'tone' the Chair takes during this passage of play and the tone taken during more recent events. Between Fawcett and Xenophon they have forged a truly bi-partisan committee, by simply being able to explain to the committee exactly what they are hearing. Once converted, the committee joined forces and have become a force that Mrdak cannot easily deny. No doubt the mandarins club will circle the wagons and protect their own, they'd better get a wriggle on though, their boy is drowning in a sea of facts, which just keeps getting deeper.

Skip through to page 136 and read through to 142: even in 2011 the committee was unimpressed with both Russell and ASA services. Looking back at the last little go-around ASA had at estimates, I'd say the three intervening years of research and examination have infuriated this committee, as well it should.

I'm still not certain I can completely accept that a department of the government would, with malice and aforethought, deliberately set out to cripple an industry simply to assist property development on our secondary airports. But I would like to be on the jury hearing the case; betchya the 'facts' and evidence would make a fine story, it's all just a bit too 'coincidental' for fiction; which has to make sense, if it is to be believed by the reader. Good fiction is developed from research of facts.

Aye well, time will tell and we sure seem to have a lot that to kill, waiting for something, anything concrete to happen. Three years since this Hansard was released and the same issues, names and places just keep appearing, the same lines of waffle, obfuscation, smoke and mirrors, the same old nothing changed. It's clear where the problem lays; equally clear is the way to fix it; all it takes is someone with the balls to shift the blockage at the junction where three paths meet and merge into one. Perhaps then, the patience of 'man at the back of the room' will be rewarded; next year ?, maybe...

Toot toot.

Last edited by Kharon; 11th Dec 2014 at 20:27. Reason: One of the few remaining command prerogatives, that's why.
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