Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

The $89.9m question

Old 22nd May 2014, 07:03
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The $89.9m question

In May 2010, there was a special avgas/ avtur excise raised in that budget, to continue for 4 years.

My question, as raised in other fora is:

Where was it applied;

Where is it and:

Has casa properly used the money.

Last edited by advo-cate; 26th May 2014 at 01:36.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 07:58
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I thought that was abolished back under Dick Smith and we went to this wonderful user pay system. Which everyone paid more and got absolutely nothing in return.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 11:21
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Hypothetically thinking, if I were part of any government that had allowed a significant amount of taxpayer funds that were collected, lets say, incorrectly, to chase its own tail between Dept Finance, Treasury, the Regulator and the mail room for years, and end up looking a bit of a budget item embarrassment, I would perhaps announce $100 million to be spent chasing presumably sunken Boeings in the Indian Ocean as an open ended fiscal political gesture of goodwill. That would remove the troublesome $millions from prying eyes. Simple really.


Sick at home today I was subjected to interminable mind numbing advertisements for Industry Super Funds and couldn't stop thinking it could be seen as a union slush fund divesting itself of some cleansed funds prior to a Royal Commission. Either that, or they are not spending their members funds wisely. Why advertise if fund contributors are at work?


Both paranoia's wasting taxpayer funds. But that's only my jaundiced opinion.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 11:22
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It's alive!!

Where was it applied;
Supposedly on additional inspectors and various resources, staff training, systems improvements etc etc.

Where is it and:
Who fu#king knows. These guys have so many wabbit holes, hollowed out table legs and dusty cupboards in which to hide things (including taxpayer money) that you have more chance of understanding QF's cooked books than Fort Fumbles finances.

Has casa properly used the money.
That question has to be a wind up? Look up the meaning of 'shonk' and these guys are listed at position number 3, behind Centerlink at number 2 and first place going to Defence! Since when has any malfunctioning government department staffed by bloated buffoons with degrees in lies and deception been managed effectively or properly? A very brief example is $300 million on a 25 year regulatory reform program that hasn't even reached first rung on the ladder? $ Billions on shitbox Collins Class Submarines? $ Billions on school sheds and ceiling batts? Let's just not bother going there. If you want it done right you need to farm it out to the private sector.

CAsA is a joke. But in the end probably no bigger joke than the decades of political masters that are guilty of 'enabling' this outfit. Yes enabling them by sitting on their collective soft white bureaucratic hands and allowing Frankenstein to grow in strength. $89 million dollars was just a 'top up'! It was like sticking a steel rod up old Frankensteins ass and letting a lightning bolt strike it! Indeed that infusion enabled the freak to grow stronger, more powerful, more hybrid.

MM enabling the beast with an $89 million bolt?
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Old 22nd May 2014, 12:19
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Worm Farms aren't cheap to run you know!
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Old 22nd May 2014, 19:57
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Tis but a drop in the bucket.

Aw, come on folks; give them a break. The notion of cancelling the fuel levy is ridiculous and to ask where a mere bagatelle of $89.9 big ones has disappeared is just rude. Without additional monies in the reptile fund, how could they continue these world class, innovative programs, so essential to industry safety.

Fostering Leadership Innovation Through Excellence Program (FLITE) $0.217 (million).

Growing Leaders to Achieve Safe Skies Program (GLASS) $0.200 (million).

General staff training (provided externally) $0.467 (million).
It's a busy life, the schedule is hectic.

AM. Take a FLITE to Cantberra and have a GLASS or two with all the happy airport operators.

Morning tea.

Karma Sutra study class, to demonstrate there is more than just the missionary position to adopt when dealing with industry.

Lunch – speaker Peter Garrett on speedy delivery of basic risk assessment.

PM. Afternoon tea at the Pink Bat night club; internal basic electrical safety classes, (production of ops manual parts defining how you can safely use the hand drier). Followed by the external training demonstration of modern lap dancing.

No, they're not taking the Mickey Bliss, just ask their expensive NZ PR company.

Last edited by Kharon; 22nd May 2014 at 20:01. Reason: Apply 'pukey' icon as and where required.
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Old 22nd May 2014, 22:22
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No, they're not taking the Mickey Bliss, just ask their expensive NZ PR company.
Do you mean PR or MR (Market Research). Mind you, both PR and MR go hand in hand, one does the research to come up with the answer you want (statistics) and the other delivers that answer in a manner that conveys the message you want to be heard (lies).

Just a twist on the old saying, there's Lies, Damn Lies, and then Statistics.
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Old 24th May 2014, 23:25
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Neville. I think you may be a bit mixed up. Under my Chairmanship of CAA the review of resources under Frank Baldwin was introduced bringing staff numbers from 7000 to 3500,

Or maybe you wanted the duplicated mandatory full position Flight Service system to stay costing about $100 m a year ?

I am still the only one stating that the cost of safety regulation has to be AFFORDABLE by those who are forced to pay or the market no longer exists.

And we still get fools on this site saying I introduced affordable safety as if un- affordable safety is a possible way to go!

It was the Bosche report well before my time that introduced user pays.
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Old 25th May 2014, 07:29
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A regulator, some dollars and some Dick

Hi Dick. I quite like you these days mate, so I'm not goin to rip into you, however your cost cutting was flawed in some areas, particularly in regard to the amount of aerodrome inspectors you had in the crosshairs. There is still a shortfall in the inspectorate to this very day....that's my only gripe buddy.

On a seperate note the pendulum has swung the other way and today's CAsA is short staffed in numerous areas, and the Consultant expenditure is huge. Then again that's how the accountants and spin doctors like to massage things, as long as actual staff numbers are low they really don't care how much money is blown on Consultants etc, 'top up' manpower if you want to call it that. Sunfish will have a term for that little smoke and mirrors trick, my business acumen falls short in that area.

Footnote: Perhaps if Dick came back and managed CAsA as if it was one His businesses we would end up with a financially sound Regulator, efficient, innovative, adapts to change and hell even turns a profit which is reinfused back into the industry it has helped kill?

"Safe skies are definitely not CAsA skies"
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Old 25th May 2014, 09:41
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So how many lives have been lost on accidents incurred in the 22 years since the number of Airport Inspectors were cut?

I heard similar claims when my Board closed RFFS at all the secondary airports .

Over $100 million saved by the GA airport users since then and no lives lost attributed to the closure.

No, I won't be back- most of those who benefited by my tough decisions never stopped whingeing.- and I only do things for self satisfaction!
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Old 25th May 2014, 09:43
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it is a pity we pilots can't elect the head of casa and the board, american style for fixed terms.
...and it is a pity we can't shoot the bastards when they go off doing their own thing.

ps.
and I only do things for self satisfaction!
liar liar, pants on fire :-)
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Old 25th May 2014, 10:39
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Dick I just want to fly from A to B in CAVOK without holding because we dont't have enough runways yet we have to pay for landing charges + enroute + tower charges + RFF fee etc etc

I thought the fuel tax was removed as it was deemed unfair and the cost of operation could be lowered by removing a unecessary tax on operation. I am 'suprised' that we still have a fuel tax which somehow CASA gets to spend.

Advo-cate's question is a very good one. It certainly has not been spent on runways or ILS's that's for sure.

Maybe one for the Honourable Mr Xenophoen.
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Old 25th May 2014, 11:32
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So how many lives have been lost on accidents incurred in the 22 years since the number of Airport Inspectors were cut?
Dick, unless you have access to some kind of shelfware that we don't know about, your comment is flawed. How many incidents, serious ones, have occurred and how many serious latent risks exist right now due to not enough inspectors providing adequate oversight? Anyway, let's not tango as the dance will never end.
But suffice to say, you may have allegedly saved GA $100 million but your offspring at Fort Fumble, since your departure, have cost GA and this country a hell of a lot more. Lack of productivity, regulatory reform, a diminished future for GA, the damage over recent years, the systematic buggery of sole operators up to the larger ones would have cost this country hundreds of millions of dollars.....I don't think that is an exaggeration.
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Old 26th May 2014, 17:10
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Double, so you know more about my motives than I do.

If I don't do things only for self satisfaction what is your explanation of why I do these things ?

I have always been opposed to fuel taxes being used to cover aviation regulatory costs as they hide the real costs.

But astute bureaucrats know they get far less flack from a hidden tax compared to direct charging.

It's our dopey industry that allows this to happen by vocally objecting to any transparent charge but saying very little when a tax is increased- and that's clearly what happened!
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Old 26th May 2014, 22:43
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Dick, a lot here probably don't remember Air Nav Charges as they related to annual use of aircraft. The fuel excise from memory did away with that and many applauded the initiative because it did away with a big cash burden in one hit. I was one who previously had to apply for a historical reduction for my Auster, but even this was a problem.


The problem as I see it today is it is being misused, but this doesn't surprise me with the CAsA. As Maxwell Smart would probably remark, "if it was used for good not evil, GA would prosper instead of becoming extinct".


Why is everybody suffering in aviation today when we allegedly have the world's best regulator and is cashed up to the hilt by a compliant government? They probably ruin $89.9M of aviation business opportunities each year so we can double the amount of outgoings to $179.8M which would be better spent on something other than lining Lawyers pockets and topping up the CAsA trough.

Last edited by Frank Arouet; 26th May 2014 at 22:44. Reason: But I was wrong once.
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Old 22nd Jun 2014, 23:28
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WTF do 850 staff do at CASA?

You could invade a small country with fewer people.

It takes 850 staff to over see 37,000 flight crew licenses? That's about 44 licenses per CASA staff member!

With that ratio of CASA staff to license holders I'd expect a level of service where a CASA staff member stands by the fuel bowser to fill my tank.

Last edited by peterc005; 23rd Jun 2014 at 00:13.
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Old 23rd Jun 2014, 01:04
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Your post indicates that you're 49 years old, Peter, but I doubt that given your Gen Y statement within your post.

So all those aircraft registrations look after themselves I guess?

All the AOCs need no oversight, I guess?

All the regulatory services (amending ops specs etc) happen automatically, I guess?

All of our airports need no oversight either, I guess?

Manufacturers of aircraft parts can be left to their own devices, I guess?

Nothing ever goes wrong in engineering, so Aircraft repair and maintenance organisations need no oversight either, I guess?

850 may not be the right number, but statements like those above just show ignorance!
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Old 23rd Jun 2014, 01:54
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My statements are factual. How you interpret the facts is upto you.

The growth in CASA staff numbers over the past four years has been about 25%. i.e. (850 - 675) / 675.

Given improvements in technology and automation Eg. CASA Self Service Portal I would have expected CASA staff numbers to drop or at worst stay static.

The growth in CASA staff numbers far outpace other metrics, such as the number of licenses (up 4%), AOCs (up 8%) etc.

I vote we bring Dick Smith back to run CASA!
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Old 23rd Jun 2014, 02:06
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Not disputing your facts, Peter. Problem is you included only one fact:

37000 divided by 850 equals circa 44.

It's the decision to use that fact on its own that leads to a conclusion of "ignorance". To suggest that CASA only oversees aircrew licences is misleading.

Now that you have parked the Gen Y approach, your argument is stronger indeed. Not sure that you'd get too much support on the 'Dick Smith return' concept.
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Old 23rd Jun 2014, 03:06
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People may criticise Dick Smith, but his motivation seems genuine and I think he put a lot of effort into changing things at CASA to improve aviation.

I'd still like to know why all of these extra warm bodies were needed at CASA over the past four years?

Why can't we expect a "Productivity Bonus" from the recent tech projects at CASA? Surely this would mean less staff, not more?
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