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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 24th May 2013, 09:53
  #1861 (permalink)  
 
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fpvdude:

Thanks for posting! I just did it and it is quick and easy. I agree, everybody should do it,and don't hold back!
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Old 24th May 2013, 12:14
  #1862 (permalink)  
 
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"Growth of this industry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Someone should congratulate him he's dead right....
It is growing in those countries with sensible regulation, in Australia on the other hand......
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Old 24th May 2013, 12:51
  #1863 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks to all (?)

As a long time lurker but newbie blogger could I just add my thanks to the excellent submissions by Mick Quinn, Bryan Aherne and Richard Davies. My own objectives were rather limited but these gentlemen exposed the total farce that is air safety in Australia - are we really relying upon Qantas to do the right thing?
BTW - kudos - choccy frogs etc. (?) to most of the rest of you who have endured the poor state of affairs for as long as you have. This inquiry has morphed into a inquiry of the state of the industry and that is all to the good, judging by the results. The Minister is merely saying what he must. And is that not a reflection upon our political system?

My message to CASA / ATSB - I may not understand all that you are saying but as a layman I demand transparency.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:07
  #1864 (permalink)  
 
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and can you point us in the direction of those statements
KK,
No, because they were not made in public.

Re: John Sharp --- one and the same, but recent events do not change what happened in 1996 --1999, when he, then Mark Vaile were the relevant ministers --- and Leroy Keith was the CASA CEO & DAS.

That part of the reg. reform program worked, and only upset the diehards in CASA --- the industry was happy.

We know what happened from the time John Anderson became minister, and the "iron ring" in CASA re-asserted itself --- and to a large degree neutered the regs. that went in place in mid-1998.

Tootle pip!!

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Old 24th May 2013, 16:13
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The latest casa briefing is out. It is worth a read.



Senate Estimates will be interesting.

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 24th May 2013 at 17:57.
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Old 24th May 2013, 16:54
  #1866 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder how Ziggy's discussions with the FAA are proceeding.

I just read Ben's August 2011 column in Plane Talking
Wikileaks: Australia failed US FAA air safety audit in 2009 | Plane Talking

Of course, Ben didn't know of the special audit when he wrote this column. That only came out in 2012.

However we now know CASA was being audited by the FAA at the very same time CASA was performing the special audit on PelAir (November 26-December 15). That must have been .......interesting.

I wonder if the crash (November 18) actually triggered the FAA visit (November 30 - December 4), or whether this was just a coincidence. Regardless, imagine how delighted CASA would have been! CASA was conducting an audit into PelAir (an audit which was unavoidably critical of CASA as it was confirming previously identified problems were still present) at the same time the FAA was auditing CASA. The CASA special audit must have been a real hand grenade when it was finished. What to do with this in 2010? What to do with this while the FAA pondered its assessment of CASA.

Last edited by slats11; 24th May 2013 at 16:56. Reason: Spelling
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:20
  #1867 (permalink)  
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Leroy Keith
The CEO decreed that CASA personnel were not to socialise with the industry. I believe that where the rot started.
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Old 24th May 2013, 22:41
  #1868 (permalink)  
 
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The report is a public service matter at this stage in my opinion. There are no policy issues involved as far as I can see.

My guess is that Mr. Mrdak will be asked to address this matter, perhaps under the watchful eye of PM & C. The issue will be to convince FAA and ICAO to give us time to correct matters.

Of course the government offers " full support" but that is short of absolute confidence.

The elephant in the room is an FAA audit, and if that happened it would immediately become a policy matter.


If CASA and ATSB decide to brazen it out with only cosmetic changes, then I think the Senate will come back with a blunt and rusty knife next time.

Heads must roll.
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Old 24th May 2013, 23:30
  #1869 (permalink)  
 
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"Quick rehash!"

Rehashing old ground (thread pages 75-81) I know but it is still very relevant!

slats11:
I wonder if the crash (November 18) actually triggered the FAA visit (November 30 - December 4), or whether this was just a coincidence. Regardless, imagine how delighted CASA would have been! CASA was conducting an audit into PelAir (an audit which was unavoidably critical of CASA as it was confirming previously identified problems were still present) at the same time the FAA was auditing CASA. The CASA special audit must have been a real hand grenade when it was finished. What to do with this in 2010? What to do with this while the FAA pondered its assessment of CASA.
Also remember S11 that there was also a Senate Inquiry in play at the time that FF and to a lesser extent the bureau successfully obfuscated, and in the end was white-washed by the Great White Elephant paper. But your point on the ICAO/FAA audit is still very much in play, here is the official AQON to QON 126 from the last Senate Estimates (12/02/2013):
Question no.: 126
Program: n/a
Division/Agency: (CASA) Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Topic: Status of the 2009 Federal Aviation Administration Audit
Proof Hansard Page/s: 77 (12/02/13)
Senator FAWCETT asked:

Senator FAWCETT: I would like to refer you back to the FAA audit that was conducted a couple of years ago. My understanding is that there were a number of deficiencies found during that. Can you give us a status report of rectifications of those?

Mr J McCormick: We can take most of that on notice, if you like. What I can give you now is that the majority issue was around the fact that we did not have sufficient training, in their mind, for our inspectorate. We had already set in place a training school which is now up and running and, in particular, their concerns were over the inspectors who oversaw what is called FAR 129 foreign operators operating RPT, regular public transport, into the US. It was around the amount of training that people had done, where most of the training in the past of say six or seven years ago revolved a lot around on-the-job training and then people had their basic training either that way or through a course to start with was perhaps not as extensive as it should have been. Since then we have rectified that completely.

Senator FAWCETT: I am happy for you to take those on notice.

Answer:
CASA was advised by the FAA in late 2010 that, as CASA had rectified all identified deficiencies, all of these matters are considered resolved.
Yes the AQONs are finally out, see ‘here’. Note: Only took them > 4 months to come up with such an extremely self serving and arrogant answer.

On that answer??… While scaling Mt Non-compliance*, I would suggest, there was quite a bit of evidence to the contrary??

So what Biccy said… “Senate Estimates will be interesting….” , it will be extremely interesting to see if Senator Fawcett will be accepting of that answer??

On the question of the government statement… “full government support”… I’d suggest that that is just a throw away line and officially unofficial. If you check ‘here’ you will see that ‘officially’ there has been no such statement forthcoming from the Minister’s office.

Doin a Kelpie!

*back at posts 1536, 1566 #1573 1590)))
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Old 25th May 2013, 00:03
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LL asked LS:
[C]an you point us in the direction of those statements [made by Warren Truss]?
LS said:
No, because they were not made in public.
Rubbish. Everything a politician says about policy is public property.

Or he didn’t mean what he said.

What fascinates me is how you, of all people, still don’t comprehend the root cause of the systemic problem. Despite all your experience and decades of first-hand evidence to the contrary, you can still put your faith in the next (recycled) bunch of politicians to deliver aviation nirvana.

Last edited by Creampuff; 25th May 2013 at 00:07.
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Old 25th May 2013, 01:15
  #1871 (permalink)  
 
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Elect independents.
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Old 25th May 2013, 02:38
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PAIN links for the report


The Senate enquiry web page has been down for over 24 hours, so in order to aid those late to download the report here is a direct link off the Senate site.




There is also the previous notified PAIN link for the report. However it is worth noting there maybe short delays with that link as it has been inundated since the Senate site has been down (approaching 200 downloads), so please be patient!




P2 (AKA BP the quiet achiever)
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Old 25th May 2013, 02:55
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Thanks

Firstly a thanks to all that have shown support, much grateful to you all.

Around March this year I visited Mr Truss in his office in Canberra. Bumped into John Sharpe in the lobby, (after 3.5yrs of ziltch, he ask "so how are you?" Huh?).
With Mr Truss I kept emphasising the need for new reform. The pending Senate findings given the EVIDENCE was going to be a no brainer. I recall saying this has been an alleged criminal offence involving air safety and that has a direct hit on our travelling public. Needs a fixing.
Disappointed in his email post visit and nil contact since.
I reckon, the AFP should respond and report on all aviation incidents. I'm sure their entry credentials would be ten fold more robust than the ATSB.
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Old 25th May 2013, 08:15
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I have just read the additional comments from Senator Xenophon on the following link. Couple of quotes.

1.8 It is important to note that 'this story' never made it into the final report, or into any other arena. This email clearly indicates there was a belief inside the ATSB that CASA had 'got itself into a hole', and that the ATSB’s priority was avoiding conflict between the two agencies, rather than holding CASA to account. Indeed, the ATSB's report makes no mention of the officer's concerns, and does not even hint at the whole 'story' outlined in the email.

1.22 Ultimately, this inquiry has exposed serious and significant flaws in Australia's aviation safety systems. The general industry attitude towards both the ATSB and CASA is incredibly concerning; it is a mixture of fear, suspicion, disappointment and derision.

1.23 It is my view that CASA, under Mr McCormick, has become a regulatory bully that appears to take any action available to ensure its own shortcomings are not made public. This poses great risks to aviation safety, and the safety of the travelling public. Equally, the ATSB—which should fearlessly expose any shortcomings on the part of CASA and other organisations to improve aviation safety—has become institutionally timid and appears to lack the strength to perform its role adequately. Both agencies require a complete overhaul, and I believe it is only luck that their ineptness has not resulted in further deaths so far. There is an urgent need for an Inspector-General of Aviation Safety, entirely independent of the Minister and his department, to be a watchdog for these agencies.

1.24 In the end, this report raises many questions. But if we wish to bring about change and improve aviation safety, we will clearly need to look beyond our inept regulators and ask: who will guard the guards themselves?




Senate Committees ? Parliament of Australia

Good to hear that the report is being downloaded.

Quite a lot of views happening around 427,000. is 450,000 maybe 500,000 achievable?

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 25th May 2013 at 12:54.
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Old 25th May 2013, 23:20
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Report going international....err ICAO: "Please Explain??"

Avweb story out yesterday (today our time):
May 25, 2013

Australian Senate: Norfolk Island Crash Investigation Could Lead To Criminal Probe

By Paul Bertorelli, Editorial Director

In a scathingly critical report (PDF) of Australian safety investigators and regulators, the Australian Senate last week found that an investigation into the 2009 ditching of a medical evacuation flight off Norfolk Island was so incompetently handled that it could be referred to authorities for criminal prosecution. The Senate investigation, which began last September, found that during the crash investigation, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority failed to provide the Australian Transport Safety Board with critical documents and findings concerning the Pel-Air ditching. That information would have revealed, according to the Senate probe, that CASA knew of ongoing systemic shortcomings in Pel-Air’s operation that directly contributed to the accident. CASA’s action, says the Senate report, may have violated Australia’s Transport Safety Investigations Act. “It could be seen as a breach of the Transport Safety Act in terms of obstructing an investigation,” said Sen. David Fawcett.
The accident occurred in November 2009 when the twin-engine Westwind ditched off Norfolk Island enroute from Samoa with a critical but stable patient. The Westwind’s ultimate destination was Melbourne, with a scheduled fuel stop in Norfolk Island. The flight’s captain, Dominic James, departed with legally sufficient fuel into a forecast of good VFR. Enroute, the Norfolk Island weather tanked and after three unsuccessful approach attempts, James ditched the Westwind near the island. All six aboard survived, albeit some with injuries. The ATSB’s accident investigation, which took some 1000 days to complete, faulted the crew for not planning the flight in accordance with Australian regulation and Pel-Air operations specifications. It blamed James for not aggressively seeking updated weather reports and for failing to divert to Noumea, New Caledonia, which the Westwind initially had fuel to do.

Following the ATSB’s findings, James challenged some of the investigator’s findings but his queries were dismissed by the ATSB. The Australian Senate took up James’ case last year and its probe revealed widespread flaws in the ATSB’s investigatory work. Among numerous findings by the Senate was a report on a CASA review of Pel-Air that “unequivocally concluded…that the Pel-Air Westwind operation was at an elevated risk and warranted more frequent and intensive surveillance and intervention strategies.” Yet no mention of this report appeared in the ATSB’s findings blaming the pilot.“In other words, Pel-Air was lacking, CASA's oversight of Pel-Air was lacking, and the accident occurred in an environment of serious aviation safety deficiencies,” the Senate report said.

Although the Senate investigation stops short of saying the ATSB and CASA colluded to suppress information, it does conclude that the two agencies narrowed the accident investigation focus in a way that excluded larger safety issues. “This inquiry has shaken my confidence in the CASA and the ATSB to the core. I no longer have confidence in them. That’s why I think we need an inspector general of aviation,” Sen. Nick Xenophone told Australia’s ABC News. “This goes beyond Dominic James, which I regard and many regard as a scapegoat for the failings of CASA and the ATSB,” he added.

The Senate report makes numerous recommendations to improve the ATSB investigation process, ranging from additional training for investigators, to requiring the ATSB’s chief commissioner to have extensive aviation safety experience, to establishing an oversight board for investigations. In one of its sub-conclusion, the Senate pulled no punches in criticizing CASA. “CASA's internal reports indicate that the deficiencies identified would have had an effect on the outcome of the accident in several areas. It is inexplicable therefore that CASA should so strongly and publicly reject witnesses' evidence that they did not think surveillance was adequate, when CASA's own internal investigations indicate that CASA's oversight was inadequate,” the report said.
And 'wikipedia' has been updated too:
On 23 May 2013 a report was released by the Australian Senate following an inquiry into the investigation of the ditching. This inquiry was sparked by a Four Corners documentary that aired allegations of misconduct by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

The Senate's report found that the ATSB accident report was deeply flawed and unfairly blamed the pilot for the accident, and as a consequence the Senate recommended that the accident report be withdrawn and re-done.

The Senate also found evidence of collusion between the agencies, the deliberate withholding of crucial documents by CASA from the ATSB, and found that the heads of both agencies gave testimony that wasn't credible.

The findings of the Senate inquiry were also passed to the Australian Federal Police pending the possibility of charges being laid against individuals involved.
King Mrdacacrat: "Yes Minister it is all a bit embarassing..."

Last edited by Sarcs; 25th May 2013 at 23:59. Reason: "IOS" forever...where's Oleo when you need him!
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Old 26th May 2013, 00:00
  #1876 (permalink)  
 
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Recommendation 10.

6.41 The committee recommends that the investigation be re-opened by the ATSB with a focus on organisational, oversight and broader systemic issues.

6.42 The committee is concerned that the ATSB report ATSB report on 'Collision with terrain - Piper PA-31P-350, VH-PGW, 6 km NW of Bankstown Airport, NSW, 15 June 2010' could demonstrate a trend where organisational and regulatory factors are not considered appropriately or in sufficient detail by the ATSB, despite post accident investigations by CASA indicating there were significant deficiencies with the operator and appearing to indicate insufficient oversight by CASA. As highlighted in Chapter 5, the committee is also concerned about ATSB attempts to predict future risk for operators. The ATSB should analyse why the accident happened but operators are best placed to assess how the lessons may affect their current and future operations.
(my bold)
Page 81 (103 pdf) paragraphs 6.30 to 6.51 inclusive, provide a solid foundation from which the Senate could build a true picture of the dreadful state in which aviation finds itself right now and the reasons why. So close and yet so far away.

Very much like Pel Air and Barrier – Skymaster was charged by CASA with "indications of significant" etc. However, would an in depth analysis of the many allegations made reveal that the claimed 'deficiencies' were in fact beefed up and manipulated, purely to support the CASA case and had little to do with operational safety – in real terms? The abandoned evidence from two FOI related to the allegations made of Skymaster, needs only to be examined impartially to discern the clearly defined pattern. Subsequent ATSB reports are clearly slanted toward supporting the CASA stance. With Pel Air one has to wonder why then, with similar allegations laid at the feet of both operators, was the matter not as ruthlessly pursued, to placate the gods of "safety" ? Or why was the one operator able to be rehabilitated over a Christmas holiday period, issues blithely waived aside, where the other was hung, drawn and quartered over a much longer period. The true 'safety' issues in both cases have yet to be defined by the ATSB/ CASA combination tag team. Aye; It is all, indeed, passing strange.

What was done with the Skymaster "issues" later, when presented in the AAT defied logic and worse still achieved nothing toward enhancing industry knowledge, except to be afraid. Had there not been an amazing back flip, Pel Air would have ended up with a very similar result to Skymaster. The Coroner dealing with Skymaster will need to ensure that the evidence presented defines the facts and circumstances most precisely.

The final outcome of the two events, both managed by the same office is extraordinary; the diverse ways similar allegations were dealt with by the doyen of aviation safety are unbelievable, the damage to the spirit, intent and meaning of aviation law, through the manipulations and machinations of one or two men is grotesque. That the Australian ATSB should aid and abet these perversions is monstrous.

This report from the Senate does indeed open the gate and is a wonderful tool; but, if Australia is to make the massive quantum leap to probity and accountability, more work needs to be done, much more. This is not the time to sit back, we have a start but it is a long journey. Now, I wonder, can the AFP ferrets chase those wascally wabbits out of their deep burrow, without industry assistance and parliamentary oversight??

Last edited by Kharon; 26th May 2013 at 00:20. Reason: Trying to remove elephants from sense of humour - thats why.
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Old 26th May 2013, 01:28
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in my opinion, the fallout from this report which highlights very considerable organisational failings of ATSB and CASA, taken with the debacle at the AMROBA meeting, Canley Vale, Lockhart, Quadrio, Barrier and a host of other matters, is that no frontline CASA or ATSB staff are going to be able to look aviators and maintainers in the eye until both CASA and ATSB management are cleaned out and a new era begins.

I theeeenk (read pray) that Margaret Stalb was recruited to AsA in time to prevent them going down the same plughole as the other Two.

What concerns me now is low CASA and ATSB staff morale in the face of a possibly hostile industry. While I am quite familiar with regulatory capture, I am concerned that the reverse - a lack of genuine trust and cooperation between regulator and the regulated will set the stage for a major miscalculation on the part of one or more parties and a resulting serious aviation accident.

At the end of the day, CASA and ATSB have a job to do. It will do no good for the GA industry if through bloody mindedness, distrust and timidity we set up for another serious accident that will then be all our faults.


We need to be thinking of "positive mental attitude" and support CASA and ATSB on the assumption that they will make necessary and beneficial, adjustments to their policies. We need to do our level best to be helpful and compliant without being a doormat.


To put that another way, we need to do our best to get along as smoothly as possible and comply as best we can with the regulatory mess and pray that CASA will do likewise. Otherwise we become part of the problem.

Of course if there is no change from the regulator and ATSB then the relationships will worsen, with lethal results for the general public. This is why I pray that PM & C are supporting Mr. Mrdak.

Last edited by Sunfish; 26th May 2013 at 01:44.
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Old 26th May 2013, 03:41
  #1878 (permalink)  
 
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Steam on.

Sunny with great respect and much affection – Bollocks. These morale deprived, poor little sausages are every bit as much of the problem as the creatures who direct them. Guilty by association; they need to be hounded down, exposed, named, shamed and charged where applicable.

There are FOI out there who couldn't start to write a check system, let alone a supporting manual, pontificating on what 'they' will or will not accept. There are people out there thrice rejected at the point of a legal gun, who are strutting about with their thinly veiled, deep seated problems, using the most despicable of tactics to subvert and manipulate the system in order to justify a 'their safety' case. There are lunatic 'philosophies' being espoused on aircraft handling, enforced by dire threat. There are specifically targeted people, isolated by innuendo and threat. There are ludicrous regulations being added to equally ridiculous policy added to punitive, expensive legal dribble, on a daily basis. There are engineers who don't truly know if using tool 24 instead of tool 25 will land them in jail. There are operators who have spent $100,000 and almost two years to get a simple aircraft onto an AOC. There are operators and pilots who have been decimated on very thin grounds, without a chance of rehabilitation or affordable recourse. etc. etc. etc. The list is very long, documented and available.

Yet PA managed to avoid it all, the blood, sweat and tears and in record time to boot; the only case in living memory of that happening. You have only seen from afar; the tip of a very large, dirty, dangerous iceberg. Positioned safely and cocooned within a warm, sheltered environment, once removed and sanitised by Parliament, you witness the Pel Air debacle. Talk to a Siewart, Butson, Hardy or Killan; get some transcripts, get some "audit" reports, examine some NCN in the raw; and judge for your self, just exactly what we are dealing with here. Reading of swimming about in the dark is nowhere near being there, naked and undefended. Exaggerated?, no – exasperated?- yes. This is no Sunday newspaper beat up, it is real, it is now and happening in a paddock somewhere near you.

I much favour an old testament approach; an eye for an eye suits my current mood. If CASA want my respect, assistance and expertise – they must earn it back, for they have most assuredly lost it. Turn the other cheek, Bollocks....

Steam off - (Ambles off into the dust, mumbling darkly whist scratching same.)

Last edited by Kharon; 26th May 2013 at 03:49. Reason: Certified unlubricated - probably just as well, eh?
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Old 26th May 2013, 04:52
  #1879 (permalink)  
 
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Intelligently conveyed Sunfish
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Old 26th May 2013, 09:04
  #1880 (permalink)  
 
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Intelligently conveyed.

But the content is circular nonsense.
We need to be thinking of "positive mental attitude" and support CASA and ATSB on the assumption that they will make necessary and beneficial, adjustments to their policies.
CASA and the ATSB are not supposed to “adjust”, or even make, policy. They’re supposed to implement policy.

CASA and the ATSB implement the most important government policy, very effectively. That’s demonstrated by the fact that you still perceive CASA and the ATSB as the solution and, therefore, the root cause of a problem you perceive.

There is no problem requiring any adjustment of policy. CASA and the ATSB have the full support of the government.
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