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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 26th May 2013, 09:39
  #1881 (permalink)  
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While on the subject of CASA bullying, it would be nice to see some common sense in the Aircrew Licencing division. They don't so much think as react to cover their own arses. People are condemned because Aviation Medicine is scared of being sensible. Ask just about any DAME what they think of CASA. It,s usually all bad.
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Old 26th May 2013, 09:47
  #1882 (permalink)  
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Cream puff,

Are you implying it is all part of the civil aviation act and Atsb and casa are just following that direction?

Casa and Atsb could fix a lot of the issues. First job is restoring or getting credibility with individuals and industry. Getting away from the adversarial approach doesn't mean 'being too nice' and not doing the job.

Flyingfox, senator Xenophon mentioned bullying and I think that needs fixing! Even if not true to dispel the belief.
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Old 26th May 2013, 11:32
  #1883 (permalink)  
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You need to know the most important government policy.

Mr Dolan knows the most important government policy.

Mr McCormick knows the most important government policy.

Mr Mrdak knows the most important government policy.

Once you understand the most important government policy, you'll stop wasting your energy on PPRuNe.

Last edited by Creampuff; 26th May 2013 at 11:33.
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Old 26th May 2013, 11:50
  #1884 (permalink)  
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I cautioned you a while back to get your mind out of the Goon Show scripts and stop the in jokes and sly superiority. You might recall a suggestion to study some Nietzsche...

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

I fear that with your last post you are now beyond use in this debate except to prove Nietzsche right. Perhaps read Sunfish's words tomorrow when you feel better.
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Old 26th May 2013, 11:57
  #1885 (permalink)  
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The dept!

Mrdak has a lot to answer for in the mess. He employed both of these clowns, and sticks by them. I read the report from front to back today. It's a disgrace that our industry has reached this low.
Bring on the changes needed.
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Old 26th May 2013, 12:29
  #1886 (permalink)  
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Cream puff, is it keeping the minister and government out of the spotlight. I'm thinking they haven't done a good job on that one.

Perhaps very fortunate that the press has more interest in afl players sex and drinking lives than aviation.

I reckon you'll be able to cut the atmosphere with a knife at senate estates.

Kharon, consider yourself cautioned. I think you'll be getting a 'show cause' next.

Last edited by halfmanhalfbiscuit; 26th May 2013 at 12:57.
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Old 26th May 2013, 13:54
  #1887 (permalink)  
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QA department

Interesting development. I heard a rumour they previously had one years back. They highlighted a lot of issues and as a result got the pineapple treatment. Or was that a false rumour?
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Old 26th May 2013, 22:02
  #1888 (permalink)  
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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.
If that is the case, where is your evidence and is it in writing with date time place and names and witnesses?

If it isn't then its just so much hot air. Furthermore, there will need to be a very long list of such actions to make any impression on anyone outside the aviation magic circle.

It is goign to be far easier to help CASA and ATSB make some changes then to try and change things by starting a civil war between industry and regulator.

If we stop being sweet and reasonable and instead go feral then there is increased potential for mistakes to be made leading to another accident, and if that happens, to borrow a few of ATSB's words from the report, we will all have egg on our faces..

In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson; "Why can't we all just get along?"

?rel=0" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>

Mars Attacks "Why Can't We All Just Get Along?" - YouTube

Last edited by Sunfish; 26th May 2013 at 22:08.
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Old 26th May 2013, 22:35
  #1889 (permalink)  
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Batter up.

Additional comments. Sen. N. Xenophon.

1.12 Firstly, I believe relationship between CASA's Bankstown Office (responsible for the oversight of Pel-Air and run at the time in an acting capacity by the author of the "Chambers Report") and Pel-Air's management in terms of probity, transparency and impartiality deserves further scrutiny.
1.13 Secondly, I believe it would have been beneficial to publicly examine whether the "demonstrably safety-related" actions taken by CASA against the pilot by CASA were appropriate, reasonable and consistent with other such enforcement. I believe these two issues deserve further consideration.
1.19 It is also important to note the committee's discussion of the ATSB's Canley Vale report. This incident (also a medical flight) tragically resulted in the deaths of both the pilot and the nurse onboard. The ATSB's response to this accident was similar to its report into the Pel-Air ditching. The ATSB also made it very clear in its report that it did not consider CASA's failure to oversee the operator appropriately as relevant. The validity of that view is, I believe, a direct parallel to that exposed by this inquiry for the Pel-Air ditching and equally alarming.
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.
Well, seems I'm not a lone voice – at least one Senator has managed to cotton onto the mess and although his language is 'politically robust' the warning is, in no uncertain terms, being spelled out. Perhaps those that disagree should send the Senator a "report" explaining exactly where, when and how he and the supporting members got it all so dreadfully wrong. The 'report' could be published on PPRuNe and CC'd to the members of the committee, the press, and the many thousands of readers here on PPRuNe who agree with most of the 176 page report.

Algie, sunshine, – the trick is, I put up an argument, you disagree; in a civilised society it's called debate. Now then; anytime you wish to debate the issues – here I stand, ready to be proven wrong. But the results of cheap shots from the sideline could be best seen on the news the other night. The Story featured a 13 y.o. girl being escorted from the football ground, publicly humiliated and nationally identified as one happy to scream invective from the sidelines, but just not quite brave enough to face the man on the paddock – sad comment, good lesson.

Next:-I could take issue with the notion of one Inspector General though, it may be 'operationally expedient' in the short term, but as a long term fix – discuss?

Sunny "If that is the case, where is your evidence and is it in writing with date time place and names and witnesses?".
Be assured, it was where it needed to be when it was required, no hot air in there mate, solid, documented and 'in camera'. There is more for when the time is right: rely on it.

Sunny "It is goign to be far easier to help CASA and ATSB make some changes then to try and change things by starting a civil war between industry and regulator."
I believe many of the problems stem from the industry needing to 'go along to get along'. I believe the time for a sweet and 'reasonable' approach will come, but just not yet. When 'things' are sorted out and we return to where either authority may be relied on, trusted and begins to act in concert with the law, the industry and within the bounds of common decency, then I will be the first to pay compliments, assist and put a metaphorical shoulder to the wheel. Not just yet though; but soon – I hope.

Last edited by Kharon; 26th May 2013 at 22:40.
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Old 26th May 2013, 23:04
  #1890 (permalink)  
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Sunfish, Kharon

Please don't fall into the trap of fighting between ourselves. The 'ills of society' should stick together.

Yes, senator Xenophon didn't hold back in his additional comments!
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Old 26th May 2013, 23:12
  #1891 (permalink)  
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Cream puff, is it keeping the minister and government out of the spotlight. I'm thinking they haven't done a good job on that one.
Your thinking is not informed by reality.

Have you seen any Minister or public official on television with a microphone in his face being asked why he hasn’t resigned over the Pel-Air report?

Next time you’re standing in the queue to get through security screening at the airport, turn to the person behind you and ask: “Do you have confidence in the system of air safety in Australia?” and “Have you heard of the Senate Committee’s report into air accident investigation?”.

It’s all cyber-chip wrapping by now.
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Old 26th May 2013, 23:45
  #1892 (permalink)  
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It’s all cyber-chip wrapping by now.
Yes, you are right. The great Australian public either don't know about air safety or don't care or both. Why should they?

However cast your mind back to about 1950 or before.

Air travel was regarded and an expensive and dangerous exercise. The industry spent a great deal of time and money to prove to the average punter that it was safe and no more dangerous than taking a train. That is the legacy we have now.

The problem however is that if this public confidence is shaken - by the proverbial Three smoking holes, public attitude will harden just as it has before - and Australian air travel will then be regarded as "too dangerous Mate", and if its Qantas that is involved it will be the end for them.

This is the "freeze, unfreeze and refreeze" model of public attitude response to events.

Last edited by Sunfish; 26th May 2013 at 23:46.
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Old 27th May 2013, 01:18
  #1893 (permalink)  
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Sunfish correctly notes in post 1901 <http://www.pprune.org/7863539-post1901.html> that
The great Australian public either don't know about air safety or don't care or both.
The reason, is simply, ignorance.

Due to the great work of many 40, 50, and 60 years ago, aviation was made safe. It has been so safe for so long, that people under fifty today don't know that it is inherently dangerous to fly at 800kph up where you can't breathe and would freeze to death in a minute or two. They see catching a plane as little different to catching a train.

The issues are simply not on their radar.

In the club that I now work at, when the “Air Accident Investigation” programs come on TV, it is mostly the older men who want to watch it, and ask me to put it on, or if already on, turn up the volume. If the TV just happens to be on the channel, when these programs come on, if no over fifty patrons are present, the under fifty people almost always ask me to change the channel, to virtually anything else, and have a tendency to spit the dummy if I don't.

The same attitude applies to this Senate Inquiry and the report.

Like all here, I downloaded it and read it front to back as soon as I could. Over the weekend, whilst working at the club, I mentioned it to, and discussed it with some of the older people. A few old blokes said they wanted to read it. When I told them it was available on line a few asked for the link, so I went into the office during lunch, logged on, cut and pasted the links to a word doc, made the print size 20, and printed a few out. I distributed six to the “interested” public, out of approximately, say 200 people, over the two days. So, on this sample, a 3 percent “interested” rate.

There is your proof Sunfish.
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Old 27th May 2013, 01:53
  #1894 (permalink)  
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TSB vs ATSBeaker

The TSB Canada have it finally worked out after years of evolution. There was a good paper written and then presented in 2012 by Michael Cunningham titled "Evolution of Aviation Safety, From Reactive to Predictive". Also of interest is that Mr Cunningham actually understands the 'trade' so to speak (interesting to compare his experience, aviation knowledge and background to that nupty Beaker). He goes on to discuss James Reasons "Managing the Risks of Organisational Accidents". Funny that, no mention of "Beyond Reason" or any other untried, untested methodology formulated by bureaucrats and spin doctors.
Similar methodology is accepted and promulgated by the NTSB as well as the Singapore AAIB. So do we really need anymore evidence than this to prove that our ATSBeaker has failed, dismally under the watchful eye of the present three non qualified commissioners, as delicately put by the Senators in their report .

The past 5 years of mi mi mi has hopefully come to an end.
Beaker, don't slam the door on your way out!

Last edited by 004wercras; 27th May 2013 at 06:37.
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Old 27th May 2013, 05:06
  #1895 (permalink)  
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Albanese on Foxtel this AM

Did anyone watch this wide ranging interview with Albanese this morning?

Unfortunately, I had to leave before the interview was completed but, up until the time I had to leave, there was no mention of the Senate Enquiry report; covered just about every other issue though. Very disappointing from the Foxtel interviewer I thought.

I'm starting to feel Albanese is banking on the public's indifference to this issue and that there will be no reaction to the outcomes of this Enquiry from the Labor Party before the election. In my view attention should now be given to the Liberal Party to ensure the recommendations presented in the report are acted on following their election.

Was the Senate Enquiry subject discussed with Albanese later in the interview?
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Old 27th May 2013, 05:29
  #1896 (permalink)  
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O yeah...

Sunfish is usually so "on the money" but with THAT post...I re-read it the next day... and felt even sicker..!!

Whaddaya want.? Lets make every May 23 from now on an annual "Be Nice to CAsA Day" Senate gave 'em a bad rap,... poor dears.

And in the meantime roll over like good little puppies, waiting to get our tummies tickled. ? THEY dont work like that, dont you know.

Many in the GA industry can attest, and the Pel-Air report confirms CAsA is a disastrous and dysfunctional agency that has lost the plot, and is headed up by psychopaths and worse.

It is NOT a case of being nice and waiting for changes from THEM...IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
Any Changes will have to be driven into them like a flock of Sherman tanks.
By politicians.... BY the Industry.

You want some proof?... I can give you proof. Three SENIOR (haha) AWIs so stupid they dont even know what they are looking at...and also have hallucinations about the occurrence. What does CAsA do about it.?
CYA 101 and serious staff protection mode right from the very top of the sh*t heap.!! Just ar$e the CAsA way.!!

CAsA is very keen on strict liability and criminality for everyone else...but in reality the bars should be on the windows of (Non) Aviation House, Furzer St, Fyshwick to keep the criminals inside.
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Old 27th May 2013, 06:19
  #1897 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up Inspector-General of Aviation Safety


I could take issue with the notion of one Inspector General though, it may be 'operationally expedient' in the short term, but as a long term fix – discuss?
I don't know that the I-G proposal was ever a "fix" in the context that I understand you to be thinking.

To me, the I-G proposal is about obviating the need for a continuing series of Senate activities to examine what/how/why/when these agencies are doing things in order to get some transparency. For example, the Auditor-General doesn't operate as a "fix" for each of the agencies examined - but the process does force the agency executives to carefully examine the "what/how/why/when" in terms of the potential fallout from public exposure. If an agency fails to protect the relevant Minister from embarrassment, then (in betting terms) the "fix" will soon be "in"!

Independent review processes just provide a public window to taking an agencies temperature - the relevant Minister will decide when things are too hot (and occasionally too cold). The I-G proposal is just one element in the broader "fix" and there are some obvious parallels with the US GAO and DOT I-G.

I should also add to other contributors' assessment of the effectivess of the CASA Board - in every iteration of the concept to date, they have comprehensively failed to serve any useful purpose.I do not know of any regulatory agency where the concept works. Maybe the first job for the I-G should be to examine the usefulness of the model and hopefully to provide the case to bury it forever.

Stay Alive,
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Old 27th May 2013, 06:44
  #1898 (permalink)  
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Political indifference and the ‘GWEP’ (GP)!

Here was the official Media Release that accompanied the tabling of the report:
** Media Release **
23 May 2013 MR 04/13


The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report into Aviation Accident Investigations, including the crash of a flight off Norfolk Island in November 2009, has been tabled today.

The inquiry was prompted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report into the Norfolk Island crash which has caused consternation and criticism in the Australian aviation industry.

The Senate report highlights that the performance of Government Agencies ATSB and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) was against the objectives of a 2010 review into their operations.

Of the review’s eight desired outcomes, the Committee found actions by ATSB and CASA failed to deliver against the six main areas being:

§ maximisation of beneficial aviation safety outcomes
§ enhancement of public confidence in aviation safety
§ support for the adoption of systemic approaches to aviation safety
§ promotion and conduct of ATSB independent no‐blame safety investigations and CASA regulatory activities in a manner that assures a clear and publicly perceived distinction is drawn between each agency's complementary safety‐related objectives, as well as CASA's specialised enforcement‐related obligations
§ to the extent practicable, the avoidance of any impediments in the performance of each other's functions
§ acknowledgement of any errors and a commitment to seeking constant improvement

The Committee made 26 recommendations to address systemic deficiencies identified in investigative and regulatory processes, funding, and reporting. Some of these deficiencies include actions that may constitute breaches of the Transport Safety Act and decisions contrary to Australia’s obligations under our international aviation obligations.

The Committee accepted the pilot in command made errors on the night, and this inquiry was not an attempt to vindicate him. The overriding objective was to find out why the ATSB report was deficient and to maximise the safety outcomes of future ATSB and CASA investigations in the interests of the travelling public.

“The Government must respond in a timely manner to address these recommendations if Australia is to regain a role as a leader in effective aviation safety” Senator Fawcett said today.

“Government and its agencies need to work transparently and cooperatively with industry to ensure that a systemic approach to aviation safety consistently underpins all aviation regulatory, investigative and compliance activities.”
Creamy makes the point that the ATSB and CAsA are only following government policy:
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.
Which is a good point to make and wouldn’t broker much argument on here, however maybe it is questionable whether in fact the bureau and FF are effectively implementing the ‘government of the day’s’ aviation policy. There is significant evidence in the report and elsewhere that these two agencies are taking the ‘mickey bliss’ in regards to adhering to government policy.

As an example I would argue that points 1to6 in the media release are all examples of issues, noted by the committee, that would all appear to be in direct contravention of government policy. Perhaps if we refer to the “Great White Elephant paper” (i.e. Government Aviation policy) we can confirm this (my bold)…

..."new ATSB governance framework

In a report to the Government in 2007 (the Miller Review), Mr Russell Miller made a number of recommendations aimed at strengthening the ATSBs capacity to contribute to future transport safety.

The Government accepted these recommendations and has confirmed the ATSBs independence by establishing it as a distinct statutory authority in the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio. Legislative amendments introduced in 2009 give the ATSB responsibilities in its own right under the Public Service Act 1999, the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and related legislation, and discretion in managing its staff and resources.

Investigations are ideally placed to avoid conflicts of interest if they are conducted independently of the parties involved in an accident, transport regulators and government policy makers. The Governments changes formally establish the ATSBs structural and operational independence from the Government....”

…..err what the inquiry and report would seem to indicate is that the ATSB and to a lesser extent FF are struggling to implement government policy.

Here is a couple of excerpts from the GWEP (appendix C) that are of relevance to FF and 'GP' (my bold):
Portfolio and Other Relationships

I expect CASA to work closely with my office, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (the Department) and other Australian Government agencies, including the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Airservices Australia, to deliver integrated and comprehensive safety regulatory advice. In particular, CASA should maintain a close and constructive working relationship with the Department and keep my office and the Department informed of all key issues and strategies. CASA should also seek to ensure its involvement in other investigation processes, including coronial inquiries, continues to be constructive.

In addition to the agreed operational priorities set out in CASA's Corporate Plan, I expect CASA to engage constructively in processes where it can provide information, assistance or advice for the purposes of policy formulation, implementation and regulation being undertaken by Government agencies, both within and outside my portfolio. This may include issues such as airport developments, airspace protection, ATSB investigations, and any other government processes that can benefit from CASA's expertise.
Some of that passage would seem to indicate that CAsA do indeed have significant input to government policy, and you are right Creamy they adhere to the minister’s direction exceptionally well!
CASA has a responsibility to provide advice on its operations to me, the Parliament and, through the Parliament, the Australian public. Timely and accurate advice in response to requests for input to ministerial representations, parliamentary questions and other information and briefing should be given high priority. The Department will continue to take the lead in the portfolio in meeting these responsibilities.
The jury is well and truly out on whether FF actually lives up to their obligations to the Parliament or the ‘Australian Public’.
It is important that Australia continues to advocate aviation safety objectives through active membership of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and participation in other international forums.

Through targeted engagement in ICAO panels and other activities, CASA can play an important role in maintaining Australia's strong record of participation and support to the organisation. I expect CASA to maintain its commitment to this framework, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between CASA, the Department and Airservices Australia on the management of Australia's ICAO responsibilities. I also encourage the continuation of CASA's bilateral safety agreements, arrangements and consultations, and CASA's constructive participation in the Government's safety initiatives in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific island countries.
Hmm..don’t think I need to comment on this excerpt... other than to say…“How embarrassing!”
Industry Liaison
As set out in the Green Paper, CASA's relationship with the aviation sector is critical to achieving safety outcomes. Good communication and consultation, backed by a common understanding that CASA's ultimate responsibility is the safety of the travelling public, should inform all CASA's regulatory and public information activities.

Well we all know how that’s working out, e.g. AMROBA meeting!

I look forward to working with the Board and the Director of Aviation Safety as you confront the challenging times ahead. I am confident I will receive your support and cooperation in achieving the goals outlined in this Statement.

I ask that you provide me with a statement of intentions within two months, outlining your program for meeting these expectations, including your performance milestones.
And for the board’s ‘statement of intentions’ please refer ‘here’, although remember to grab a bucket!

So in relation to FF’s implementation of government policy (the GWEP), I suppose we could grudgingly give them a tick in the (S) (for satisfactory) column.

Note: If we accept that ‘GP’ is also ‘live’ and consequently ever evolving in the course of a sitting parliament. From the report there was a proactive change/enhancement to ‘GP’ that was noted by the Senate Committee.

Paragraph 6.13 of the report says:
6.13 Mr McCormick informed the committee that the information from the Chambers Report was used to seek additional funding from the government to improve surveillance activities.14
Which would appear to mean that Mrdak and the department (therefore the Minister) were privy to the findings of the ‘Chambers Report’.

It therefore follows that some of the department were well aware of the systemic issues highlighted in the ‘Chambers report’ and were also party to the implications of withholding that information from the ATSB.

It is also questionable whether the…“additional funding from the government to improve surveillance activities”, has had the desired affect??

And that is where a good opposition or independent pollie can well and truly make some political mileage…hmm as Biccy said there could be some real fireworks at Wednesday’s Senate Estimates??

Here is the ‘program’.
Looks like beer and burgers….doin a Kelpie!
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Old 27th May 2013, 06:54
  #1899 (permalink)  
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How about Inspector General Hart?

Yes it is a good idea, in theory, to have an IGA (Inspector General Aviation for those who don't like acronyms or suspect that this is some kind of code language). But if the IGA is not a straight bat like say Mr Hart but is for a better term 'a government whore' then it won't work. We can see for example that the CAsA Board only serves the interest of the Minister and itself, it has been debated that the ICC only serves the interests of CAsA executives (just look at the ICC membership), the AAT is easily manipulated and only ends up serving the interests of CAsA. So the IGA will be an epic failure if it is aloud to be corrupted by powerful influences, sources of sorcery and sections of the GWM well known for its love of mates rates.

Only two choices here really, the scalp of the Mr Skull and Beaker will be taken and a light patch up job done to plaster over the rot, or a top to tail dismantling and rebuild will be done.

P.S ICAO were out here in AUS last week, anybody know what they were up to?
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Old 27th May 2013, 07:05
  #1900 (permalink)  
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I've always had doubts about you, and you write like someone I know, and would prefer never to have known.

Since your recent postings, I will henceforth call you 'garbage man'

You certainly have that air about you.
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