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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 22nd Jul 2013, 01:17
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CAsA pineapples ASA, Xenophon pineapples CAsA.

This is probably suited for this thread.
The best bit is the comment by the astute Xenophon when he questions why it is that CAsA allowed ASA to get to this dismal point in the first place?

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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 07:44
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Didn't Dolan make a commitment to review re opening the Pel Air investigation on the 24th of this month.



Now if this report was January this year was it mentioned in the senate inquiry?

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 22nd Jul 2013 at 07:57.
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 10:27
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Profile – Senator David Fawcett

Phelan article on Senator Fawcett is well worth a read!
Profile – Senator David Fawcett

Some may disagree with some of his ideas but there is no doubt he has a strong commitment to improving the industry and it would appear he is actively involved in writing the Coalition policy.
Strategically sound models
Fawcett is acutely aware of the criticism that there is no “one voice” that speaks for the aviation industry. “I actually think a better way to oversee safety is to split the industry into its relative sectors. High-capacity RPT could be one segment, then regional airlines, EMS/air ambulance operators, airwork and agricultural operators, and then general aviation. Each of those sectors could then nominate the group they are happy to have representing their views and to work with CASA on their behalf. At the moment the regulator will say it consults with industry, but the feedback I’m getting from a lot of people in the industry is that it’s more like ‘sit down and let me tell you what we’re going to do’ as opposed to industry saying ‘well, this is best practice, this is how industry would like it to work,’ and the regulator then looking at it and saying: ‘yes, there’s no safety case to prevent that, therefore we will adopt by and large what you have actually put forward.’
“So that’s the formulation of the regulations and rules side of it. On the audit side there are a couple of models. One is the basic aviation risk standard (BARS) model, where you have an acknowledged standard and you have a third party who actually comes and does the audit and the regulator’s role is to make sure that the safety management system is in place, and that the audit is about how it is applied, and best practice, and is done by somebody who has competence in the relevant industry sector.
“There is also potentially a role for Company X to say ‘look, we’re quite happy to have Company Y to provide an audit team member to assess our operations and we’ll send one of our people to audit theirs as part of the team.’ That may or may not work for commercial reasons, but I think there are more ways to skin this cat than having the regulator being the rule writer, policeman, and the judge.
“My sense is that we can do a lot better, and one of the starting points for that is having a whole of government strategy for aviation as a starting point. A board recruited for CASA needs people who have experience in aviation, not necessarily from a regulatory perspective, but certainly from operating and airworthiness perspectives. As well as your governance issues we need to have a board that should be chosen on the basis of its ability to input and influence the government’s strategic direction for aviation. They then should be appointing the CEO of CASA, and holding him to account to work in accordance with the board’s and the government’s strategic directions for CASA. But it strikes me that there is no whole of government policy. The current Board doesn’t have much aviation experience if any, and the CEO of CASA ends up operating as an almost completely independent entity who can end up setting a completely new direction, for example in regulatory reform. I think there can be a lot more leadership at that strategic level, and I think it will help in determining the resource requirement to ensure safety, and how do we actually work not only to keep the industry safe, but also to empower the industry to grow.”
ProAviation closely followed the proceedings of the recent Senate committee enquiry into CASA’s and ATSB’s management of the Pel-Air ditching investigations. So did everybody we spoke to in the industry. They were unanimous in their applause for the professional way in which all participants – particularly Senators Heffernan (Chair), Fawcett and Xenophon – guided the process of the enquiry and the delivery of its report. Numerous industry identities frankly express the hope that Senator David Fawcett will continue to bring his aviation experience and awareness to bear on the creation and maintenance of a sound, credible relevant and supportive regulatory environment.
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 22:49
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Beancounter Beaker’s dilemma and Albo’s elephant in the room!

Sailed past a couple of dates this week. Beaker, Mrdak and Albo remember these??

24th July:
Senator XENOPHON:All right. This goes to another resource issue and relates to the ditching of the Pel-Air flight in November 2009. Without rehashing the report, the basis of the ATSB refusal to retrieve the cockpit voice recorder is based on an interpretation of ICAO annex 13. Is that a fair assessment?
Mr Dolan: That is one element of it, as I tried to make clear at the time. Another consideration is in my role as chief executive of the ATSB, with responsibilities under a range of legislation, including the Financial Management and Accountability Act, as to the efficient, effective and ethical use of Commonwealth resources.
Senator XENOPHON:So what takes priority: the Financial Management and Accountability Act or ICAO annex 13 in terms of our international obligations with regard to aviation safety and accident investigation?
Mr Dolan: In my role I am required to balance my obligation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act to undertake the functions of the organisation consistent with a range of international instruments, including annex 13, but I am also equally required to have regard to the efficient and effective use of Commonwealth resources. They are the decisions that we have to make on a regular basis in terms of how we undertake our work.
Senator XENOPHON:So, if you are required to equally assess both, what wins out when it is finely balanced? Is it our international obligations to appropriately and thoroughly investigate aviation accidents or is it budgetary constraints?
Mr Dolan: The question we will always need to ask ourselves is how we meet our obligations and what the necessary level of investigation is, and we have to have regard to the availability of resources. For major investigations there will come a point where it is clearly not within our annual budget to deal with the consequences of it. That is certainly the position with any major accident. We already have arrangements in place that, were there a major accident that has an ongoing, above-the-ordinary call on our investigations, we can ask the government for additional funding, but we are always making calls about what we do within our existing resources and what constitutes a major investigation that would require an approach to the government for further funding.
Senator XENOPHON:So you have not reconsidered your interpretation of ICAO annex 13 in relation to the retrieval of the cockpit voice recorder in the Pel-Air ditching?
Mr Dolan: More broadly speaking and specifically to that question, the recommendations that came out of the committee's report as they referred to the ATSB as an independent agency will be reviewed by the commission of the ATSB—me and my fellow commissioners—so it is not just a decision for me but for the three of us acting collectively in accordance with our legal responsibility.
Senator XENOPHON:In the financial year that the Pel-Air ditching occurred, you were within budget, weren't you? You were not over budget at the end of that year.
Mr Dolan: We had a surplus at the end of that year, correct.
Senator XENOPHON:So you cannot say that the decision not to retrieve the cockpit voice recorder was due to budgetary constraints, because by the end of that financial year you still had a surplus.
Mr Dolan: I still had to have regard to the likely and projected costs of recovery, what my available resources were and what I needed to do with them.
Senator XENOPHON:It is another jurisdiction, but I think the ATSB is involved in Indonesia and does provide assistance. In the recent crash of a Lion Air 737 off Bali earlier this year, the cockpit voice recorder was retrieved at a great cost and difficulty even though the crew survived, because annex 13 requires it and the international community expects it. Is there any possibility that you will reconsider the decision not to retrieve the cockpit voice recorder in relation to the Pel-Air incident?
Mr Dolan: There is a possibility—in fact, there is the certainty—that the commissioners will reconsider it. That is part of our review of the recommendations of the committee. Once we have done that, we will report back on the results of our consideration.
Senator XENOPHON:And when do you think that will be reconsidered?
Mr Dolan:At this stage—and I need to have further discussions with my fellow commissioners—we have a scheduled formal commission meeting on 24 July. At this stage, that is when we would expect to consider all the recommendations of the committee.
Senator XENOPHON:I think Senator Edwards raised this during the inquiry. Is there a possibility that ATSB will consider reopening that investigation based on the findings of the Senate committee report?
Mr Dolan: We have a recommendation in front of us from the committee that says that we should do that and we will have due regard to that recommendation.
Senator XENOPHON:The committee has criticised the ATSB in relation to its report on the Pel-Air ditching. You are now in a position to reconsider whether you ought to reopen the investigation. Do you think it is appropriate that an independent person outsourced by the ATSB—an aviation expert—make recommendations as to whether it ought to be reopened given that there is a fundamental conflict? It is sort of like Caesar judging Caesar in the context of what ought to be done with respect to reopening the investigation.
Mr Dolan: I hear what you are saying, Senator. A matter obviously I would have to discuss with my fellow commissioners is what information and advice they may wish to rely on in reconsidering the decision that has been made.
Senator XENOPHON:Do you think it is appropriate that there be some independent assessment as to whether the investigation be reopened given that there would be, on the face of it, an apparent conflict with the board effectively having to make a call as to whether it should be critical of its previous report?
Mr Dolan: No, I do not. I see that our responsibilities as the commissioners of the ATSB in meeting the functions of the organisation are something that we are required to appropriately consider. What information we draw on to make those considerations I think is a matter for us.
Senator EDWARDS:Are you seriously considering judging yourselves on this information again?
Mr Dolan: We are seriously considering weighing all the information that has been available through the Senate committee and other material that might come to light in making our decision as we are required to do under our legislation.
Mr Mrdak: Clearly these are matters which the government will need to consider in the light of the Senate committee's report.
Senator EDWARDS:Sure, I am trying to give you some guidance.
Mr Mrdak: We do appreciate that. Mr Dolan is quite correctly putting the position of the commission regarding its legislation. The matters that have been raised in the report and the issues both Senator Xenophon and Senator Edwards have just raised are matters that we will put to the minister as part of the government's response.

Part of the above fits in quite nicely with Senator Fawcett’s 30/05/2013 ‘Media Release’:



The three little pigs, none of which has any aviation experience at all, should have had their little meeting by now??? Therefore I can only gather that Beaker is currently, doing what he does best, crunching the numbers and seeing if the budget can stretch to a) Lifting the CVR/FDR; and b) re-opening the investigation. So is there an announcement imminent? Or will Beaker and Co continue to obfuscate and spin the matter till the election?

Next date was the 26th July, which if you remember was the D-day for the Estimate QONs. Not that it is unusual for Albo and his cronies at DoIT to go by the ‘use by date’ on outstanding QONs, in fact it is the norm, example:
Senator HEFFERNAN:Welcome, Mr Mrdak. I would just like to emphasise the disruption and the unfairness demonstrated—not necessarily by the department—on questions on notice. They came back, and I have no idea how long they were in the minister's office, and were received by this committee on Friday at two or three o'clock in the afternoon. Religiously and with great precision DAFF have their questions back on the given day, and we commended Minister Ludwig yesterday for that. But sadly the questions on notice from Minister Albanese's office are always late. It is unfair to the committee and, as a consequence of the late afternoon on Friday, the hardworking people in the secretariat had to work on Friday night and Saturday just to process the questions. I think that is most unreasonable. There is no strategic reason. Bugger it—the questions and the answers are the questions and the answers, and if they are on paper we ought to be entitled to see them in time to get our head around them. They can often be important issues—and I am sure that Senator Fawcett is about to raise important issues—that we need to thoroughly process in the best interests of the Australian public.
However we had this rather insistent (read urgent) QON from the bi (maybe tri) partisan Senate Committee:
Senator FAWCETT:Mr Mrdak, I want to come to the issue of the process of the department to respond to reports of the Senate. You would be aware that a report was tabled into a couple of areas of your responsibility last week. In accordance with various decisions of the Senate the minister has three months to respond. That three-month period will fall right in the middle of the caretaker period, which means that significant safety issues could potentially be stretched out beyond four or five months before resolution, which is unacceptable. Could you tell the committee what your plan is to make sure that those issues are addressed in a timely manner, given the overlapping of significant time frames?
Mr Mrdak: We are certainly aware of the serious issues raised by the committee's report that was tabled last week in the Senate. The minister has sought urgent advice from agencies in relation to the matters raised by the Senate committee. We are now in the process of providing that advice to the minister. The minister certainly does recognise the need to urgently review and address the recommendations. I am not in a position here today to give you an exact time frame as to when the minister and the government will formally respond to the report but I think we all are very conscious of the fact that with the date of the federal election being proposed for 14 September and caretaker mode notionally starting on around 12 August that would fall within the normal three-month period. I can only say to you that the government is giving this serious and urgent consideration and looking to expedite its response as best it can.
Senator FAWCETT:I accept that you cannot speak for the minister and when he will release his response but can you give the committee an undertaking that the department's response to the minister will occur in sufficient time so that he can respond before the caretaker mode?
Mr Mrdak: Certainly that would be our intention. As I said, the minister has sought advice. In preliminary discussions with him on the issues involved he has sought that advice as a matter of urgency and we are doing that now, along with our portfolio agencies.
Senator HEFFERNAN:It weighed heavily on the minds of all members of the committee—and you will note it was a unanimous report—that we address the issues raised in the way we have. We absolutely wanted to be open and honest in that report and we did not want to have even the slightest prospect that in future there could be a calamity which would come back to haunt our conscience.
Mr Mrdak: I appreciate that, Senator, and the department is as a matter of urgency preparing advice for the government to consider on the issues raised.
Senator IAN MACDONALD:Mr Mrdak, I appreciate that you cannot with accuracy indicate when your advice will be ready, but you would have some idea of when you might be in a position to submit advice to the minister. Is it likely to take a day, a week, a month?
Mr Mrdak: We already have officers in the department—and clearly me and senior officers—who have carefully read the report now. I have had discussions with my senior officers. We envisage being in a position to provide some initial advice to the minister, I expect, certainly within the next week to 10 days in relation to it. We have been through the process of the budget and now estimates. I envisage having conversations with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority CEO and the head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in the coming days to ascertain their views, to enable me to provide a comprehensive view to the minister, I would hope by the end of next week.
Senator IAN MACDONALD:Thank you for that. Senator Thistlethwaite, as the minister representing the minister, can you give any indication of what timing the minister might adopt in relation to this important report and the government's response to it?

Senator Thistlethwaite:
I cannot give you an indication now, Senator, but I can take that on notice and see if we can come back to you before the end of the day.

Senator IAN MACDONALD:That would be great, thank you.
Meanwhile at Teflon man’s HQ the elephant keeps putting on weight:


And the IOS continue to wait patiently...hmm and it is now less than a month before the Government response is due!


Last edited by Sarcs; 26th Jul 2013 at 22:58.
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 07:55
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Sailed past a couple of dates this week
Maybe KRudd has called an election and we are in caretaker mode but no one has told the general populace
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 10:34
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Pretty sure that was why 24th July was stated. All lost in caretaker mode.

The report that must not be mentioned has not been mentioned in casa briefings either.
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Old 28th Jul 2013, 03:43
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Yep great report with some very relevant recommendations. ATSB and to a lessor extent CASA come out looking dodgy. Do you know what happens now? The government has 3 months to reply. That reply is drafted by the same agencies that the report critisizes, three months from now the current government is in caretaker mode then there is an election. Assuming a new government they take a few months to get into the groove of being in power, then its Christmas the summer holidays and now its February 2014.
Unfortunately my optimism at the time has been replaced by a realization that the earliest response from any government might be June 2014. Then again my inherent optimism might be bubbling up again!
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Old 28th Jul 2013, 07:11
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Mrdak gives Beaker his marching orders?? Perhaps this clip explains the stupid decisions made by the ATSBeaker in recent years?
Special appearance by the Screamer.....


Last edited by 004wercras; 28th Jul 2013 at 07:13.
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Old 28th Jul 2013, 11:42
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Devil Fort Fumble out of control or totally in control??

From Phelan's latest:
Most of Australia’s general aviation aircraft fleet was on track to be effectively grounded on Thursday of this week (August 1 2013), if a “maintenance direction” signed off by CASA director John McCormick on July 4 of this year had slipped past industry scrutiny and become law.

Estimates of the number of affected registered Australian aircraft vary between 75% and 98% of the entire GA fleet of aircraft classified as subject to “Class B” maintenance requirements.
IMO the lunatics are definitely in charge of the asylum...!
Maintenance mayday – screw-up or conspiracy? Opinion

"Safe Skies are Empty Skies!"
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Old 28th Jul 2013, 12:29
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and that Sarc'sy old mate, is why it costs three times as much to operate the same aircraft in Australia as it does in the US.
Australia is becoming so safe, nobody will be able to afford to fly, except on airlines with political clout and the money to call in the lawyers.
Oh well we can always drive, much safer than flying anyway.
All those aircraft falling out of the sky everyday in the US, they should adopt Australian regulations that would put an end to that.
Then where would we buy our aircraft from?
Oh forgot we are taking the bus or driving are'nt we.

Last edited by thorn bird; 28th Jul 2013 at 12:31.
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Old 29th Jul 2013, 03:39
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Conspiracy...???

Methinks....mmmm...yep.
Some clown in CAsA recently stated that only RAAF and airlines should be in Oz skies.
Skull ex both...and all the rest of us, the non experts and ills of society are too dangerous and should not be allowed to use the valuable airspace.

Or I could be wrong.
"Never believe that a clever plan has had robust and thoughtful input, when it can be shown to be the result of just plain old, natural stupidity and ignorance"

Keep this up and the only thing buzzing around in "Safe Skies" will be blowflies.
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Old 29th Jul 2013, 03:47
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GA and Jackboots

Yes indeed, another Fort Fumble screw up. The incompetence of these buffoons knows no bounds. Phelans article gets straight to the point - Fort Fumble incompetence or the systematic buggery of GA? Probably a bit of both I suspect.
CAO 100.5 and its replacement wording are close indeed. It would seem the 'massagers of all rules aviation' have excelled themselves yet again by creating confusion and uncertainty across the sector. Never mind, regs are a game. A game to be played by bored incompetents who enjoy 'playing god with aviation'. Either way GA will pay the price yet again, in one way or the other, literally by way of costs or physically when Inspector Plod splits your ring gear in half as he leaps out of the bushes and jams his jackboot up your clacker quicker than a CAsA executive diving into a trough!

The Jackboots are on, CAsA Inspector Plod is warming up and ready to launch into various unsuspecting GA outfits. Beware, this is what is coming to a remote rural aerodrome, farmers paddock or maintenance shed near you;
Cairns, Bankstown or Townsville;


Last edited by 004wercras; 29th Jul 2013 at 03:50.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 20:31
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Friend or ennui.

Can any of the politically wise heads clarify the situation? does Krudd have to recall parliament now and if he does, then can the Senate committee start head hunting again?.

Plenty to go around – DoiT beneath the radar, ATSB on stress leave and CASA playing silly buggers with "regulatory" reform and toasting folks just back from leave (wusn't there M'lud, I was on leave and just quietly mixenmytoesits). There are questions on budget cuts and the devious methods employed to fill some coffers and to protect existing monies; that must be a job on the Estimates to do list, after seeing to all the other, outstanding issues.

It's a bit sad when a political hiatus can halt the good work done and the drones all grab the small advantage; using heaven sent time to raise the barricades, fortify their position, disappear the evidence, bury the bodies and patch up the holes in the dyke. On the bright side, there still remain more holes than they have thumbs for sticking in. Soon or late – time will catch up.

Perhaps the experimental mating of a bald eagle with a weport wabbit will produce the desired results, some more interesting legal spaghetti and procedural prostitution. LSD must be tearing it's hair out, what with the FOI commission looking through a microscope at past antics, present manipulations and future obfuscations. Aye well, time will tell the tale – eventually. Meanwhile, I'm doing a roaring trade in vomit buckets and pooper scoopers here in limbo land. Get on with it Kevin.......
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 22:33
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Mating habits aviation style

Guten morgen Herr Kharon,
Perhaps the experimental mating of a bald eagle with a weport wabbit will produce the desired results, some more interesting legal spaghetti and procedural prostitution.
Now that gave me a solid 5 minutes worth of lachen this morning, nice one
However there is a certain amount of risk in mating a bald eagle with a wabbit, and I fear the imminent birth of a hybrid executive with one chromosome missing with a penchant for hurling abuse (hmmmm where have i seen that before?) while coating the office floor in rooster booster (which incidentally is good for pot plants and for making executive bonuses grow fertile).

Herr Kharon also said;
LSD must be tearing it's hair out, what with the FOI commission looking through a microscope at past antics, present manipulations and future obfuscations.
That may explain Flyingfiends bald scone? As for the microscopic examination I believe the Hubble telescope would be needed to search though all those dirty little secrets and robust cracks.... One could use said telescope to search for their pee pee's as well I suspect?

Now, just for shits and giggles I presume, but a little eagle in Can'tberra tells me that consideration is being mounted for another senate inquiry, but this time into the Holy Grail of incompetence - the 25 year $200 million CAsA Reg reform program!
Now that would be a hoot. Can you imagine the scrambling in FF - searching for minutes, records and documents as well as accurate costings (better find all those cab receipts), reports, milestones and goals, actual achievements??

It seems that perhaps the jackboot may now be on the other foot??

"Sicher ananas fur alle"

Last edited by 004wercras; 30th Jul 2013 at 22:40. Reason: Avoiding the eagle, rabbit and Albo's elephant mating in the middle of the room
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 07:31
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Crooks and shonks

It will take more than a senate inquiry to remove the heart of this corrupt organisation. Aleck, Terry F, Boyd are all long term system abusers who have tricked, fooled and conned decades worth of DAS's, senators, auditors and those seeking to expose their sly underhanded ingrained methods. Add to this Mr Flyingfiend Anastasi, the NQ shonk Campbell and Chambers and Weeks and you have the evils of aviation.
Terry Farquaharson should be investigated for giving his mate an I.T contract without following the tender process. He should be sacked for promoting his brother-in-law Max to the position of field office manager in Melbourne nd then moving him into compliance when HR received bully complaints.

Crooks, shonks, thieves, liars and absolute turds.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 12:14
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Go for it Casaweary, don't hold back son! Tell it like it is!

P.S You really should make regular appearances, at least weekly mate
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