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Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA

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Glen Buckley and Australian small business -V- CASA

Old 22nd Dec 2020, 08:56
  #1421 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
But Bullwinkle, I refuse to believe CASA would do this. What possible motivation other than safety could they have? Surely there must be a quantifiable danger to the public for CASA to act.

What you seem to be suggesting is that CASA is an unaccountable rogue organisation. I don't believe Mr Carmody is an unaccountable rogue, quite the reverse.
Sunfish's account has been hacked.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 12:02
  #1422 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
But Bullwinkle, I refuse to believe CASA would do this. What possible motivation other than safety could they have? Surely there must be a quantifiable danger to the public for CASA to act.

What you seem to be suggesting is that CASA is an unaccountable rogue organisation. I don't believe Mr Carmody is an unaccountable rogue, quite the reverse.
Sunfish, I like your posts generally. You do have some smarts about you. But mate, seriously, have you lost your marbles? Has dementia kicked in? Have you taken up smoking Ice at your age? You are taking the piss, right? If not, mate I suggest you tee up time to have a coffee (or 7) with Glen and let him go through the whole CASA grievance with you. You will soon see that a Government bureaucracy in 2020 is indeed a rogue bastard.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 21:05
  #1423 (permalink)  
 
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Para377, if CASA is indeed as bad as reports suggest, then that is tragedy for Australia. However I think it may just be part of a bigger problem; that is the increasingly risk averse nature of ALL Government and businesses, in fact the entire society, that is slowly paralysing the nation.

By "risk averse", I mean the inability to take any decision that is perceived as having any risk attached to it.

Examples:

- cost of insurance in areas deemed "prone' to bushfires.

- Cancellation of public events (Concerts, shows, etc) because of inability to obtain insurance or outrageous indemnity demands by local councils.

- The entire Government response to Covid19, as exemplified by the Victorian health Ministers press conference yesterday where he blathered on about regulations, procedure, protocols and advice when questioned about Victorias lagging response to the latest Sydney outbreak. Blind Freddy knows we should have closed the borders a day earlier and we should be at least back wearing masks as should Sydneysiders. We should also strictly quarantine all airline crews, domestic and international, cut flights and to hell with returning travellers.

- The business, sport and Government response to the screaming harpies of the feminist movement which has resulted in "Cancel culture" and the destruction of thousands of male careers out of political correctness and the demonisation of men.

- the increasing demand for "mandatory" sentencing for crime and the continuous extension of government control of previously unregulated activities.

So now lets return to Aviation and CASA; I would have thought that if aviation regulation was as bad as people here make out, then there would be some Government crusader who wishes to make a name for themselves by leading a reform agenda to restructure the whole box and dice, regulation, enforcement, etc. However then I thought about the question of risk. By its nature, rightly or wrongly, all aviation is regarded as a risky activity (due to fear of falling/heights, etc.). The regulations are totally focussed on purporting to reduce risk to the public.

Therefore any change that is perceived as altering the risk mitigation profile embedded in the community's psyche is going to be seen as INCREASING risk and danger and is automatically a bad thing. Furthermore it isn't rocket science that bureaucrats will fight back against reform by pressing the risk button. This is going to make aviation reform a very unpopular topic with politicians who understand that the next aircrash is going to be blamed on them for tampering with CASA.

So imagine the shock/horror whipped up by the press if favourite hobby horses were indeed acted upon:

- Medical self certification (Sick pilots! OMG!)

- Owner maintenance (Broken planes falling out of sky!)

- Weight increases, entry to controlled airspace for recreational aircraft (untrained amateurs near my airbus ride!)

- Simpler regulations (pilots are potential criminals, they should be investigated and punished! We need MORE, not less regulation!)

CASA are protecting us from a general public who would close general and recreational aviation down, or severely limit it, if they could. They make aviation possible in this increasingly litigious and risk averse society.

So perhaps Glen threatened the status quo and someone at CASA got worried. Is that a crime? I don't think the general public would think so and the arguments are too technical for them to understand or care.

Both the profession and Glen need to focus on how to explain to the general public what their case is and why the general public should support it. This is in fact a political question and should be treated as such. Before you explode, I wish Glen all the best and I hope the matters are resolved to his satisfaction, I'm just trying to explain what he is up against.

Last edited by Sunfish; 22nd Dec 2020 at 21:18.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 21:36
  #1424 (permalink)  
 
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Is the US/UK/Europe as regulated as we are? We would have to be one of the best countries for civvy aviation. A benign environment when compared to elsewhere and a vast expanse that aviation would benefit.

Sunfish I may be wrong, not being an edumacted person, but I think the gist of Glen's issue is the way he was treated in such a way that by all appearances that it became a personal vendetta against him.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 22:45
  #1425 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Para377, if CASA is indeed as bad as reports suggest, then that is tragedy for Australia. However I think it may just be part of a bigger problem; that is the increasingly risk averse nature of ALL Government and businesses, in fact the entire society, that is slowly paralysing the nation.

By "risk averse", I mean the inability to take any decision that is perceived as having any risk attached to it.

Examples:

- cost of insurance in areas deemed "prone' to bushfires.

- Cancellation of public events (Concerts, shows, etc) because of inability to obtain insurance or outrageous indemnity demands by local councils.

- The entire Government response to Covid19, as exemplified by the Victorian health Ministers press conference yesterday where he blathered on about regulations, procedure, protocols and advice when questioned about Victorias lagging response to the latest Sydney outbreak. Blind Freddy knows we should have closed the borders a day earlier and we should be at least back wearing masks as should Sydneysiders. We should also strictly quarantine all airline crews, domestic and international, cut flights and to hell with returning travellers.

- The business, sport and Government response to the screaming harpies of the feminist movement which has resulted in "Cancel culture" and the destruction of thousands of male careers out of political correctness and the demonisation of men.

- the increasing demand for "mandatory" sentencing for crime and the continuous extension of government control of previously unregulated activities.

So now lets return to Aviation and CASA; I would have thought that if aviation regulation was as bad as people here make out, then there would be some Government crusader who wishes to make a name for themselves by leading a reform agenda to restructure the whole box and dice, regulation, enforcement, etc. However then I thought about the question of risk. By its nature, rightly or wrongly, all aviation is regarded as a risky activity (due to fear of falling/heights, etc.). The regulations are totally focussed on purporting to reduce risk to the public.

Therefore any change that is perceived as altering the risk mitigation profile embedded in the community's psyche is going to be seen as INCREASING risk and danger and is automatically a bad thing. Furthermore it isn't rocket science that bureaucrats will fight back against reform by pressing the risk button. This is going to make aviation reform a very unpopular topic with politicians who understand that the next aircrash is going to be blamed on them for tampering with CASA.

So imagine the shock/horror whipped up by the press if favourite hobby horses were indeed acted upon:

- Medical self certification (Sick pilots! OMG!)

- Owner maintenance (Broken planes falling out of sky!)

- Weight increases, entry to controlled airspace for recreational aircraft (untrained amateurs near my airbus ride!)

- Simpler regulations (pilots are potential criminals, they should be investigated and punished! We need MORE, not less regulation!)

CASA are protecting us from a general public who would close general and recreational aviation down, or severely limit it, if they could. They make aviation possible in this increasingly litigious and risk averse society.

So perhaps Glen threatened the status quo and someone at CASA got worried. Is that a crime? I don't think the general public would think so and the arguments are too technical for them to understand or care.

Both the profession and Glen need to focus on how to explain to the general public what their case is and why the general public should support it. This is in fact a political question and should be treated as such. Before you explode, I wish Glen all the best and I hope the matters are resolved to his satisfaction, I'm just trying to explain what he is up against.
Better. Much much better. Now you are getting it my friend. Well written and strikes at the core of Aviation’s malaise.

One thing though, several senators have had a bit of a subdued crack at CASA - Heffernan and Xenophon and there are others. But it’s a pointless exercise and senate inquiries and senate estimates are just a game with no real meat and potatoes.

Secondly Sunfish, when you speak of risk aversion you left out Councils removing metal slides and climbing equipment from playgrounds and State Governments removing the Male/Female criteria off your car drivers lisence. All big ticket items. NOT
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Old 23rd Dec 2020, 02:53
  #1426 (permalink)  
 
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"The public" have no idea about aviation related issues or the machinations of a bastard bureaucrazy as is CAsA.
Anything can be done in the name of "safety" and it is. With covid it comes to shackling a young woman and dragging her away in front of her kids . That got plenty of publicity. A scary sign of things to come ?
CAsA.s dirty deeds dont get so much press time because the issues are more complex. Reporters are looking for the next 'fish and chip wrapper' being yesterdays mini news item. Too easy for the 24 hr news cycle.
No paper wants to spend time on complex, convoluted issues that need serious investigation.
For aviators who know CAsA, the Buckley v CAsA means something. To Joe and Jill Public it means nothing.

And you are very wrong Sunny. As I read it. Glen spend oodles of time and money for an aviation enterprise that was allowed to proceed.with CAsA's blessing for years..
Change of CAsA team..and all bets are of for sanity to prevail. And what was workable today will be terminated by Friday next as unworkable. Exterminate, exterminate ...all must be destroyed !
And it was
The scrpts of some of these CAsA dramas and play acting,"investigations" read from like something out of the looney bin.
Just ask Quadrio, Kilin, Pantovich, Rudd and many many other
Unless the good Senators can pull a Royal Commission rabbit out of the hat, it will prove that aviation is a risky business.
With CAsA's MOs its way too risky to invest in any aviation business.
Vale ! GA
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Old 5th Jan 2021, 23:26
  #1427 (permalink)  
 
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Glen, I support your cause to the hilt, but unfortunately cannot support your gofundme campaign.
In July 1994, I applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a Stay of Decision on my licence suspension.
That Stay was denied. It cost me a packet for just an hour or so in the AAT and I vowed then never to take a government department (or bank) to court.
They just adjourn proceedings until the appellant goes bankrupt.
I have made at least three lengthy submissions to various government enquiries and what is the outcome and changes? - nothing.
Regarding a Royal Commission..... I suggest you read "John Jess, Seeker of Justice" regarding the two Royal Commissions into the HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Voyager disaster.
https://www.news.com.au/national/joh...1bae098498bca5
'When one hears the words Voyager Royal Commission, the first thing that comes to mind is "whitewash." '
Please don't forget, "Impact Erebus", by Capt. Gordon Vette. Justice Mahon's report accused Air New Zealand of presenting "an orchestrated litany of lies",
Regarding my own barrow pushing exercise, I have had far more support with my recently self-published book, "From Hero To Zero".
Politicians do not want to rock the boat. Sad. In fact I'm reminded of Sir Humphrey in "Yes, Minister?
"The terms ‘cover-up’ and ‘white wash’ don’t come close to doing justice to the loathsome performance of the nation’s political elites".

Last edited by dogcharlietree; 5th Jan 2021 at 23:39.
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 00:30
  #1428 (permalink)  
 
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Having been through a lot in the last 27 years, I have absolutely no faith in;
1) The CASA grievance procedure
2) The AAT
3) The Commonwealth Ombudsmans Office,
4) The FOI act
5) The Australian Office of Information Commissioner
6) Our federal politicians.
But I WILL keep fighting for justice.
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 01:25
  #1429 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
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And wasn’t it Senator Graeme Richardson that once said “if the public knew what really goes on behind closed doors in Parliament, politicians would be hanging from trees”? Crooked, corrupt, power wielding narcissistic douchebags that are as useful as a bad case of syphilis.
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 01:33
  #1430 (permalink)  
 
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Politicians are like a baby's nappy, they require changing regularly and usually for the same reason.

CC
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Old 6th Jan 2021, 04:06
  #1431 (permalink)  
 
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Senator Graeme Richardson that once said
His additional quote was "you do whatever it takes".
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 12:16
  #1432 (permalink)  
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Response to Post 1396

In Post 1396, i had made a Freedom of Information request in response to Mr Shane Carmodys allegations that i had "stalked and assaulted" CASA staff. I know that allegation to be absolute rubbish, but have received this response to my request. looks like i might have to wait a tad longer for this information."Good morning Glen,

I have reviewed the documents within scope of your application. However, as the document contains information relating to personal and business information, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act), CASA has an obligation to consult with any third parties involved.

This consultation process has now commenced and the timeframe to process the request is now extended by a further 30 days from today’s date in order to undertake the consultation process (see sections 27 of the Act).

Kind regards





Freedom of Information Officer
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Old 9th Jan 2021, 13:05
  #1433 (permalink)  
 
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Glen. For nearly 3 years now I've been requesting under the FOI ATSB/BASI documents relating to my accident in 1994.
They will not release ONE word, citing "secret".
Since when is aircraft safety secret?
They are hiding so much.

Last edited by dogcharlietree; 9th Jan 2021 at 13:12. Reason: added ATSB/BASI
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 00:10
  #1434 (permalink)  
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Part 1 of 3 Hansard Report Senate Estimates Presentation by Glen Buckley

BUCKLEY, Mr. Glen, Private capacity

[12:40]

Evidence was taken via teleconference—

CHAIR: Welcome. Do you have any comments to make on the capacity in which you appear?

Mr Buckley: I'm appearing in the capacity as a private individual and somebody that's spent 25 years working in the aviation industry.

CHAIR: Thank you. I invite you to make a brief opening statement before the committee asks questions. Do you wish to make an opening statement?

Mr Buckley : Yes, I'd like to take advantage of that. Thank you.

CHAIR: Please go ahead.

Mr Buckley : I realise this isn't a 21st birthday speech—this is something somewhat more substantial than that—but I would like to take the opportunity to thank some people, particularly Senator Susan McDonald. I realize these sorts of issues aren't things that attract a lot of votes in your electorate. They're bigger picture things that take ethics and integrity, so I want to thank you for that. Senator Glenn Sterle, I don't think you will remember me, but I came into your office about two years ago with another aviation gentleman. You spent time taking me around parliament and spent a lot of time with me. I came home after having a very inspirational day so I have a lot of trust and confidence in you. I met you. Thank you for being on board today.

I want to thank [inaudible] a couple of pilot forums: PPRuNe, Aunty Pru—a couple of organizations that are behind me—all the people that trained together, established a crowdfunding page, and contributed to that crowdfunding page. Probably more important than the financial contributions they made are the comments that they made. They meant a lot to me. I want to thank all my friends, everybody in the general aviation industry that stood up to get behind me. As you may be aware, I've got a forum going that's had close to 700,000 views 1,500 comments. The support's been exceptional.

I also want to apologise. I want to apologise to all of the people that've been [inaudible] to the supply of the business, the value [inaudible] my customers, my family, my parents, my children, my kids' school. Everybody's been impacted by the story that I'm about to tell you. Everything I say today is absolutely truthful. I can support everything I say in writing. This is the truth. This is about intent. If you ask me a question I'll answer in the intent that you want me to answer. I won't try and cover anything up and I will be truthful. I understand that this privilege afforded to me today gives me access to parliamentary privilege and I'm somewhat protected from the comments that I say. I don't want that protection. I want to send a very clear message to Mr Carmody, the CEO of CASA. I am waiving my right to any sort of parliamentary privilege to give my story the credibility that it deserves. You are welcome to initiate any legal action against me at the conclusion of this—

CHAIR: Sorry, Mr. Buckley, you don't need to go down that path. This is a Senate inquiry. Leave it as it is and you continue with your evidence.

Mr Buckley : Okay. This is a prepared statement I want to say. It's fairly brief. While I appreciate the diversity of the experience before me, I cannot reasonably expect you to be subject matter experts on flight training and aviation safety matters. Irrespective of that, you will have an appreciation of the importance of a productive relationship between the regulator and the industry that is regulating, be that aviation, trucking or any other industry. A relationship of mutual respect, trust, and good intention will irrefutably enhance good safety outcomes. If the culture of Australia's national aviation safety regulator, CASA, could be demonstrated to be unsafe, that it did not act in good faith, did not follow clearly stipulated procedures, denied individuals their rights under administrative law procedural fairness, and natural justice; if it could be proven that CASA has done this to many individuals and small business owners in Australia, not just me; if it could be proven those actions were unlawful and couldn't be justified on the basis of any desired safety outcome; if it could be proven those actions cost businesses and jobs; if it could be proven CASA acted vindictively and vexatiously, then you would be compelled to act, as you will be. I'll call on both of you at the end of this. Before I proceed, I want to be perfectly clear, as Mr Carmody will present before you shortly, I put the question to him to clearly outline any safety case 'for the action that you took against me' and clearly outline any regulatory breaches.

I'll talk to you about the business of what APTA was. CASA introduced a regulatory change called part 61, part 141 and part 142. It came in a decade behind schedule, hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and was uniformly rejected by the industry, and CASA will admit the failure of it. It massively increased the cost of running a flying school. The regulatory burden was very, very high. In fact, the regulations meant all flying schools in Australia had to close down in three years unless they complied with the regulations.

I approached CASA and I put to them a concept I was going to call the Australian Pilot Training Alliance. I was going to take my existing flying school, Melbourne Flight Training, and morph it to the Australian Pilot Training Alliance. It was a registered training organisation and had CRICOS approval to train overseas students. In conjunction with 10 CASA personnel over two years and an investment by me of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, I built APTA. It was fully approved by CASA. CASA recommended members to join APTA. The best analogy that I can give is that APTA is probably somewhat like IGA is in the supermarket industry. I took all the powerful approvals that I had in my school of 10 years and put them up the top and provided the opportunity for 10 schools to join underneath. I had full accountability for the entire operation. As I said, CASA helped me design it. They approved the basis to operate under it, and that business operated.

On 23 October 2018, with absolutely no warning at all—not on the basis of any regulatory breaches and not on the basis of safety, Mr Jonathan Aleck, the executive manager of legal international and regulatory affairs at CASA had a change of mind. He will be appearing before you shortly. Ask him what the regulatory support of what he did to me was. There is nothing. He has no rules. The Civil Aviation Act requires one of the functions of CASA to be to provide clear and concise aviation safety standards. I expect Mr Jonathan Aleck, before you shortly, to be able to show you the rules that were broken. There were none. Their conduct was vindictive and vexatious.

I'm jumping around a little bit here, but I want to talk about what APTA did for flying schools in regional areas of Victoria. The cost of running a flying school has gone through the roof. I felt it in my own flying schools. Consider an aero club. It's made up of the local insurance broker, a local farmer and the shop owners—local people come together in a rural aero club to enjoying flying together. It's an important part of these communities. These aero clubs can't keep up with CASA legislative compliance. The constant changes and the restrictions are too burdensome for them. They want to be running aero clubs, having competition days and flyaways and getting around to the bar at night-time and having a chat. That's what APTA was supposed to give them. CASA should have supported this. I was going to take all the compliance and safety responsibility for the operation and let them go about running their aero clubs.

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Old 17th Jan 2021, 00:13
  #1435 (permalink)  
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Part 2 Of 3 Hansard

APTA was very well intentioned. It was a very big investment and ultimately it has cost me my house investment savings. Mr Carmody will get up later on and he will say CASA has to assure themselves of good governance. Well, I will say to you, Mr Carmody, that APTA was the first organisation in Australia, not just in flying schools, to give CASA full 24/7 access to every single aspect of the business. The staff training, the students' files, the flight duty, predictive maintenance, communications between the staff—they had access to the whole system. The system was designed with a management structure of schools that do 10 times the volume of flying. It was a registered training organisation subjected to frequent audits. It was a very, very high calibre organisation and a big investment with industry-leading personnel. What did CASA do to me?

Before I start this, I want to talk very briefly about gentleman called Bruce Rhoades. I'm not sure if you're familiar with him. Bruce Rhoades was a gentleman whose company was involved in an aviation accident. He fought diligently to protect his name and his reputation, as I am, but unfortunately he acquired cancer. He went to his grave before he had the chance to clear his name. I apologise to his family, if this brings them any discomfort, because I haven't had the opportunity to seek their approval to tell you this story. But the ABC, 7.30, did an investigation into the conduct of the CASA personnel. He went to his grave not being able to defend himself. I don't know about the decisions he made in the aeroplane on the day. I wasn't there. It's not up to me to judge. You fly yourself, Senator McDonald—constant decision-making. So I can't judge his decisions. To me, they seem to be decisions that are possibly somewhat similar to those I would have made.

What I can assure you, for Bruce Rhoades, who has now passed away, and for his family, is that in his case CASA reverse-engineered the process. They did it to me. They work out what they want and they work backwards. He was breached under administrative law and denied natural justice and procedural fairness. He wasn't given those things. He went to his grave with his reputation in tatters, and I'm not letting it happen to me.

What did CASA do to me? Okay. To simplify this story—we don't have a lot of time, I appreciate that—CASA did three things to me. The first stage they did overnight. For no reason at all, they changed their opinion, came in and placed my entire business on seven days notice of operations. That's classified as a cancellation, variation or a suspension of an air operator's certificate. There are very strict procedures and protocols they need to follow to take such substantive action. Bear in mind this is not on safety grounds; it is the complete reverse. They denied me my privilege under administrative law and they put restrictions on my ability to trade.

For a staggering eight months, I couldn't take revenue. We've just been through this with coronavirus; we know what it does to businesses. No-one was going to join a school that only had seven days certainty of operation in the future. Consider what that does to staff, what that does to employees, what that does to customers and what that does to suppliers. My parents stepped in so I could avoid redundancies with those restrictions placed on my ability to trade. My parents stepped in for eight months and funded the staff salaries to the tune of $300,000 so that I didn't have to make anybody redundant. At the end of the eight months, exhausted of funds and too embarrassed to go back to my parents, I sold that business for five per cent of what it was worth. That was stage 1.

In the second stage, I retained my existing flying school, called Melbourne Flight Training. CASA—this is a right they don't have; this was again their opinion; this isn't defined—came up with something called direct operational control and they required me to transfer my flying school, my staff, students, resources and financial control over to the new owners of APTA that I'd sold the business to. There's no basis for this in administrative law. That left me with debts and leases on photocopying equipment et cetera, with no revenue.

In the third stage, I obtained employment in the industry and continued to defend my reputation on PPRuNe and Aunty Pru, until CASA sent a letter to my employer, saying my position was untenable, based on comments that I was making publicly. I was terminated that day. I spent eight months unemployed, dealing with a very depressed state, and have recently returned to the workforce—outside of the aviation industry. Are there any questions at this stage? Are you happy for me to continue?

CHAIR: Keep going. There will be questions at the end.

Mr Buckley: Thank you very much. I will keep going. I'm going to read from a written statement here. I want to briefly go to the impact on me of CASA's actions, just so that is very clear. I've lost my home. I've lost my business. I've lost my job. I've lost my reputation. My parents have lost $300,000, supporting staff salaries. My daughter's education at a remote university has been impacted. My son is doing his VCE, and I'm unable to pay his school fees. The school has had me declared bankrupt, and that will be activated in February. I have no money. I have been left absolutely, completely destitute and, at 56 years of age, have no hope of ever rebuilding my life once I have been declared bankrupt. I have nothing left.

Whilst I'm no lawyer, I have done extensive research over the last two years that this has been going on into the definitions of 'misfeasance in public office' and 'negligent misstatement'. I've had the opportunity to discuss this matter with several legal firms to ensure my understanding is correct. First, on the subject of misfeasance in public office, Justice Deane in the High Court determined that misfeasance in public office requires an intentional but 'invalid or unauthorised act' to be committed 'by a public officer in the purported discharge' of their public duties which causes loss to a person. It requires that the person committing the act did so deliberately. I'm going to come back to that; that's going to become very important for some allegations I'm shortly to make.

Second, on the subject of negligent misstatement, negligent misstatement is information that is provided but is inaccurate or misleading. It requires that a legal duty must be recognised and requires a certain standard of conduct to protect against foreseeable risk; that there must be a breach of that duty by failing to meet the requisite standard of care owed; and that the party receiving that advice has suffered material injury as a result of that breach. It requires that the 'speaker' of the information, CASA, realise that they are being trusted and that it is reasonable for the party receiving the information to act upon the information or advice.

So I, in this forum, am lodging a formal allegation of misfeasance against Mr Shane Carmody, the CEO of CASA. I'm also lodging to both of you senators a formal allegation of misfeasance against Mr Jonathan Aleck, the Executive Manager, Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs, and finally an allegation of misfeasance against Mr Graeme Crawford, the executive manager of the aviation group. My options? I've been out to industry. Industry crowdfunded me $50,000 over a short time. If I have to go out to industry and seek crowdfunding to hold these people to account, I will do it. However, Senator Susan McDonald and Senator Glenn Sterle, I have raised those serious allegations against these people. It should not be necessary for me to go out and get equity funding from industry, but I will do so if required.

I'm going to give you about 10 topics. I realise we don't have lot of time so, rather than go over all the topics, I'm going to give you both a choice of 10 topics. Hit me with one of them and I'll briefly tell you that story. The topics that I could have a chat to you about are the restrictions on the business's ability to trade, the administrative freeze, the limited dates of operation, the contracts issue, the CASA direction to terminate my employment, CASA's use of the aviation rules, the falsified audit results, the temporary locations procedure or my allegations that they have misled the Ombudsman's office. I'll give you those topics again, just for you to jot them down. You can hit me with any of those topics and I will talk to them. I want this to be a positive experience, so I do want to leave 10 minutes at the end of it to give you well-intentioned suggestions as to how I genuinely believe CASA could be improved. You could talk to me about the restrictions on the business's ability to trade, the administrative freeze placed on the business, the contracts issue, CASA's direction to terminate my employment, CASA's use of the aviation ruling, my claim about falsified audit results, my temporary locations procedure or my allegations that members of the CASA senior executive have misled the Commonwealth Ombudsman's office. Over to you two.

CHAIR: Mr Buckley, thank you for appearing. I appreciate that it will be a very emotional presentation for you, given the impact this has had on you personally and on your children and parents. When we had budget estimates a couple of weeks ago, I was broadly aware of your issue from industry reports. I asked questions of Mr Carmody and his response was not fulsome. I want you to respond to that, because I'm trying to understand. I asked a question of him. He gave me a very narrow answer. Can you comment on what your views are on that?

Mr Buckley: On this matter, I don't want to say that he was untruthful; I want to say that he was deliberately misleading. You asked him if there had been any settlement on my matters and he focused very much on the settlement issue. I have a number of claims against CASA. There are two claims that I have against CASA that I'm going to call part A and part B. Part A of the claim, which I want addressed first, is the claim about everybody outside of my family who's been affected: the staff who have lost their jobs, the businesses that have closed down, the suppliers that have remained unpaid. That's part A of my claim. There's another part of the claim, against the conduct of CASA—breaches of administrative law, natural justice and procedural fairness. Mr Carmody was fully aware of that. The only offer that CASA has made to me—to be honest, I don't recall the amount, because I found it so offensive that I opened the email only once. It was a lot less than $5,000. My recollection is that they offered me a total of about $3,500, somewhere in that vicinity.

CHAIR: I want to ask you about the initial issue, which was that you were establishing—I think you described it as an IGA approach to flight training schools. It has been suggested to me that the issue that was raised was that flight training schools shouldn't be able to use an established SAP and the manuals that you had developed with CASA could be used for one business, but it wouldn't be appropriate to use them for multiple businesses. Is that your understanding? Have I got that right?

Mr Buckley: That would be an argument that perhaps CASA or somebody would potentially put forward. I'd like, very much, the opportunity to refute that. You've got to bear in mind, APTA was designed with CASA over two years with 10 CASA personnel; I attended to over 600 CASA requirements throughout that. I've been contacted by an ex-CASA employee today to say that they'll support this contention. They worked side-by-side with me. We had the most advanced IT system—it was an Australian designed product, as I insisted—and we built a very, very high powered overview system. My staff would each base themselves in the base to make sure the induction was thorough. We had regular meetings, regular audits. CASA does an audit on us once every couple of years. We've audited our own organisation on hundreds of occasions over the two years. We had a very large safety department, the largest safety department of any organisation in Australia. So, no—there was one certificate, one set of procedures. The whole thing was designed to be scalable, with input from ex-military personnel, and the structure was that it could grow and reduce in size as was required.

CHAIR: So, putting aside whether or not that was the case, you were given seven days to stop operations?

Mr Buckley: I'll just stop you there, Senator McDonald. Interestingly enough, the letter originally—I have the letter here—was just a request for documents and it led me to believe that it was most likely that, in seven days, they were going to shut me down. I was issued interim approvals to continue operating throughout the eight-month period, until the business couldn't continue any longer.

CHAIR: So the letter asked for a production of documents, but it didn't require that you stop?

Mr Buckley: Correct. They did let the business go on, but I guess my point is you can't run a business—any business, whether it's BP, ANZ bank, a flying school or, in particular, an education facility—where you've only got seven days certainty of operation. You can't enrol people in courses.

CHAIR: Alright. One of the issues that have been raised by other people who have provided submissions is the consistency in decision-making by CASA officials within and across CASA. Would this be a reflection of that lack of consistency, or am I swimming outside the lanes to suggest that?

Mr Buckley: I can assure the viewers that is not a Dorothy Dix question, but it's probably one of the most beautiful questions you could ask me, Senator Susan McDonald! So CASA are operating what they call certificate management teams. These are small, roving groups of CASA personnel consisting of experts on flight training, safety, aircraft maintenance. I operated under a team called CMT2 for a decade, under the leadership of a gentleman called John Costa—I say his name now, because he has retired and he has left CASA—an exceptional person and a very good team, and they worked with me to design APTA. Then, without warning, I received notification from CASA that I was to have a change of oversighting team, from CMT2 to a team called CMT3. Now, these two teams don't sit across the country from each other; they sit opposite each other at the same desk. As I said, I have the emails. Within 24 hours of being notified of the change from CMT2 to CMT3, I wrote to the CASA regional manager and I requested a one-on-one on-the-record meeting because the new team included a flight operations inspector, Mr Brad Lacy, who has a very bad reputation as being somewhat vindictive and vexatious in the Victoria-Tasmania region.

CHAIR: Mr Buckley, I am very keen to hear your story, but I'm not a legal expert and I don't want you to wade into anything that's going to get you into difficulties. I suggest we leave individual names out of it.

Mr Buckley: Okay. I had a change of oversighting personnel. I went from one team to another team. I requested a meeting with the CASA regional manager, where I said, 'I don't want this individual oversighting my business because I think that that would bring harm to me and my business.' CASA ignored that request. There was the change of CMT to CMT3, and, sure enough, that very individual initiated the action against me. Interesting.

CHAIR: Thank you, Mr Buckley.

Senator STERLE:Good to see you again, Mr Buckley. On what basis did they give you seven days notice that they were winding up your business or not going to allow you to operate?

Mr Buckley: To simplify the matter, they used a document called the aviation ruling, which is a document designed for the charter industry, not for flight training. That's one of the topics I could talk to in detail. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has completed phase 1 of his investigation and he found that CASA had erred because they used the wrong document. Then they came back to me and said, 'Well, you have to have contracts.' I said, 'I have contracts.' They said, 'No, you don't.' I said, 'Yes, I do have contracts and they've been provided to you previously.' They said, 'No, you haven't.' I provided evidence, and even Mr Graeme Crawford had been provided with a copy of the contract. There were just a lot of CASA errors. Initially there was the aviation ruling, which the Ombudsman and I advised CASA at the start was completely the wrong document. Then it became an issue about the contracts. CASA has never asked any other operator to have a contract. I asked CASA, 'Do you hold contracts for any other operators?' They don't hold any other contracts. That was a unique requirement put onto my organisation, but I'd already pre-empted it because I had contracts and they had been provided to CASA. All of a sudden CASA ended up with mud on their face.

Here's another one. I asked CASA, 'When a new member comes on board, how do I induct these new flying schools into the organisation?' CASA advised me to use a procedure called the temporary locations procedure, which I adopted. According to my manuals, CASA approved that and CASA approved bases under it, CASA audited it and CASA commended me on it. Then, when I got the initial notification, they told me that the temporary locations procedure wasn't the approved procedure. 'You recommended it to me. I put it into my manuals on your recommendation and then you audited it. You've approved bases under it.' The point is that that's my claim. I was a big critic of CASA before this regulatory program came in. Dr Jon—I'll keep away from naming names but—

Senator STERLE:No—I think the chair will support me here. Dr Aleck will be there and we can ask him questions, so you can name him. The chair won't mind, because that's on the record.

Mr Buckley: CASA's regulatory program, as you are probably aware, is a decade behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. Before it was introduced, I argued with CASA at every conference and at every opportunity: 'Don't bring this in. It will decimate the Australian owned sector of the industry. It will decimate flying schools in country areas.' What happened? Obviously, it came in and it's had a devastating effect on the industry. Dr Aleck is the man responsible for this program. He is Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs for CASA. He has been there for many, many years and many people have raised allegations against him, as I said.

Senator STERLE:You sat with CASA; they helped you to design it and they said, 'Here is the box to work in,' and you worked within the box. I understand that you had financial support from your parents. You said it was because you didn't have redundancies. Was there a legal avenue? Was there a dispute settlement procedure? Was there somewhere for you to say, 'Hang on CASA, I have the right to put forth my case'? Was none of that going on?

Mr Buckley: No. I ask that Mr Carmody or Dr Jonathan Aleck be asked to put forward their case in plain English with good intent to try to provide an overview of the reason for their actions.

Senator STERLE:Okay, we'll do that. But let me ask you this, then: did you seek legal advice?

Mr Buckley: The industry did a crowdfunding page for me on what I should do, and that's why I'm fully satisfied that I have a claim of misfeasance against those individuals.

Senator STERLE:Sorry, Mr Buckley. I'm asking: did you have to go and actually engage—ugh, this gives me the creeps—a lawyer to throw good money after bad? Did that happen?

Mr Buckley: No.
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 00:14
  #1436 (permalink)  
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Hansard Part 3 of 3

Senator STERLE:Can I ask you why?

Mr Buckley: Just to make sure I understand, you're asking why I didn't go to a lawyer to pursue this matter until now?

Senator STERLE:Yes, when it first came up. I've been around industrial relations a while, and what they say is one thing and what happens in reality is another thing. But did you have contracts with CASA to become the overarching training provider?

Mr Buckley: That was the process that I went through for the two years, so that was basically the intent. I already had the process operating under me in a somewhat similar format. It was a two-year ground-up engineering process to attend to a deficiency that existed in the industry. Each of the members sought legal advice on the contracts. There was a lot of input into the contracts. But, in my opinion, CASA can bring up the contracts, but CASA had regulations, and I met every single one of the regulations. They stipulated over 600 procedures. The suite of manuals is as wide as I can go on the camera here.

Senator STERLE:Okay. But, going back to my original question—there's probably a very good reason—why did you not go and seek legal support or advice and say, 'How can I defend myself? How can I avoid losing not only my house but my parents' money? My workers have lost their jobs.' You've lost your job, and then CASA came in and told the crew that they were through; they had to give you the flick. You were eight months unemployed. Why didn't that happen? I'm just trying to get a clear picture.

Mr Buckley: The situation is that, as soon as CASA put those restrictions on my trade, that cost me somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 per week. I started haemorrhaging money quickly. My parents stepped in to support the cycle. There wasn't a lot of money left over. I believed that good intent would prevail. I put complaints in to the Industry Complaints Commissioner. This is one of the suggestions I'd like to attend to, and I'd like to leave enough time for that. On the aviation ruling, which was the document that CASA originally used, the CASA internal Industry Complaints Commissioner came back and found that it wasn't worth investigating because CASA had taken it off the table. So then I put a complaint in to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and the Commonwealth Ombudsman came back and found that there was a deficiency that could have caused detriment to me. So the answer to the question is that I'm a big believer in due process. The process is to go to the Industry Complaints Commissioner as the first thing. These things take time. Also, I've never engaged a lawyer. I've been in court on two occasions and haven't engaged a lawyer, because once a lawyer's engaged it's combative. It's two parties each trying to do the other one over. I just want CASA to sit down, acknowledge that they've made a mistake, say a lot of people have been impacted by this and return everybody affected to the situation they were in in October 2018, before CASA started this process. It shouldn't need a lawyer. It should need Tony Mathews, the chair of the board, to step up and act with good intent.

Senator STERLE:Forgive me, Mr Buckley, but I am unclear as to why CASA cut you off at the knees.

Mr Buckley: Yes. There is no safety argument. You put that to them. Ask them: 'Was there any regulatory risk? Did any planes slide off the runway? Were there any allegations of unapproved maintenance? Were there any allegations at all?' Ask them that question.

Senator STERLE:Alright. Why do you think they did it? You did touch on a certain person—CMT2 to CMT3.

Mr Buckley: Yes.

Senator STERLE:Give us a bit more history. Don't mention the name; that's fine. But why would this individual go out of their way to put you out of business?

Mr Buckley: I think it came from higher up. That's why I say it was misfeasance. I think it comes from the highest levels in CASA. I was a critic of the regulations before they came in. I predicted what they would do to industry. They did do it to industry, so I was somewhat of an embarrassment. I also point out that CASA introduced these new regulations. They came to me. There are 350 flight training organisations in Australia. They gave these 350 businesses three years to transition to the new format, parts 141 and 142, or cease trading after that date. Those new regulations took away 90 per cent of my revenue by way of the 150-hour commercial pilot licence rules. My business was faced with shutting down in three years and a loss of revenue unless I stepped up to what was called a 'part 142' organisation. I was very, very critical of CASA and I still am critical of CASA.

Let me give you a brief example of what these new regulations have done to a country flying school versus a city flying school. A country flying school will probably be, in almost every single case, below a classified part 141 school. My school, like many of the city schools, is a higher classified part 142 school. Both the 141 school and the 142 school can deliver a commercial pilot licence. In the 141 and 142 schools they can fly to exactly the same syllabus, fly exactly the same aircraft with exactly the same flying instructor, they do all the same CASA flight exams, they fill in the same CASA CPL test application form and are able to do exactly the same flying test. The 141 school has to do the training in 200 hours. The 142 school—the higher level school, like mine—gets to do it in 150 hours, but it's competency based training. How can CASA possibly mandate that a 141 school, a country school, be forced into delivering a 200-hour commercial pilot licence with GST on it, when the guy down in the city, at my business, can do a 150-hour commercial pilot licence course, exempt of GST? It's the same course. It's competency based training. Why should the guy in the country flight school have to fly another 50 hours before he can do a flight test, even if he meets the competency? You can understand why country flying schools haven't got a snowflake's chance in hell. People from the country will gravitate to the city to chase the more cost-effective option provided in the big-city schools. It's ludicrous.

Senator STERLE:It does sound like it was set up for failure. Chair, there are a lot of questions we need to pose to CASA, and I'll be very interested to hear their points. There's a lot of background information there. I'm very keen to know why they cut you off, Mr Buckley. Could you prepare something for us about that—just a simple set of questions to put back to the committee that we can ask?

Mr Buckley: Certainly, I can do that.

Senator STERLE:We can seek answers. If you parted your hair the wrong way, or you wore orange socks, or you gave them the shits—sorry, you upset them—I could understand, but I'm none the clearer.

Mr Buckley: Wilco, nor am I. When Mr Carmody—who's down there now—spoke at the last RRAT committee, he said that CASA very rarely get the opportunity to publicly defend themselves. Here's a perfect opportunity for Mr Carmody to publicly defend himself. I'll make a written submission of suggestions of how I believe CASA could be improved, because I realise that we're getting short of time. I'd like to say something in parting. You are aware that CASA did surveys of their own staff. There was a massive lack of confidence in the senior executive of the organisation. It really does need a clean-out.

I very formally, before the both of you today, lodged a claim of misfeasance. I believe there should be a process by the Commonwealth Ombudsman or the Attorney-General's Department for that allegation to be followed through. I stand fully liable for everything I say. I'll support it with evidence. If that isn't forthcoming, I will go out to industry and I will seek industry support. I live in the seat of Chisholm, a marginal seat, and at the next federal election I will run as an independent politician against the current incumbent, Gladys Liu, if I have to. I'm not going away, Mr Carmody. Let me be very clear.

CHAIR: I just have one more question for you, Mr Buckley. At the very first step, when you went to the Industry Complaints Commissioner within CASA, what where the words you used—was it that CASA had said it was off the table?

Mr Buckley: Correct. The document that CASA used—it must have been bring-your-kid-to-work day or something, because they used completely the wrong document. CASA's argument was that, because it was off the table, they weren't investigating. That means that CASA could go and allege unsafe behaviour by a pilot, who tries to appeal to the Industry Complaints Commissioner; CASA realise that they've ballsed-up two months down the track and say they've taken it off the table, and he's denied his rights. I emphasise that the Commonwealth Ombudsman investigated the same matter, found an administrative deficiency, and it did cause detriment to me. I await stage 2 of his investigation, which will include the CASA direction to my employer to terminate my employment based on the comments that I was making publicly.

CHAIR: I'm still intrigued about the independent complaints commissioner. So that person has gone and sought advice, I assume, from the legal team at CASA?

Mr Buckley: Yes.

CHAIR: It's a little bit circular, isn't it?

Mr Buckley: It's very, very circular. That's one of my suggestions to you. Mr Carmody sits on the board of CASA, who the Industry Complaints Commissioner reports to. It's ludicrous to me. This is one of my suggestions: there needs to be a redesign of the board. I wrote to Tony Matthews, the Chair of the CASA Board, for six months before I went public with this. He completely ignored every request. I raised substantive allegations against these personnel. It was six months. Had he acted within an appropriate time line and demonstrated good governance, I'd probably be in a very, very different situation today.

CHAIR: Mr Buckley, we are out of time. I am very pleased that you have had the courage to come forward and do this. I do have some serious concerns about due process when people are pursued by CASA. I've a number of complaints from people who've come before me, so I'm very concerned that we have a cultural issue that urgently needs to be addressed. But, of course, that's cold comfort to you who have lost your home. Your parents are so out of pocket, and, devastatingly, your children have been impacted as well. So I thank you for your contribution today. I know you'll be watching the rest of the inquiry with interest. This is the process of a Senate inquiry—to try and shine lights into dark corners and help bring some justice to issues. Thanks for coming today. Please go with our thanks.

Mr Buckley: Thank you so much, both of you, for your time.




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Old 17th Jan 2021, 03:16
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An index of all my Pprune posts to date Part 1 of 3 (posts 100 to 500 approximately)

I have prepared the attached index. I recognize that this is a complicated matter. By opening the attached index it may help the reader more quickly get to posts of particular interest.

I have this in a Word table but could not successfully upload it in the correct format.
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 03:18
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An index of all my Pprune posts to date Part 2 of 3 (posts 500 to 1000(

Posts 500 to 1000 approximately
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 03:20
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Pprune posts. 3 of 3. (posts 1000 to 1500)

The final summary of posts, indexed for quicker reference.
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Old 17th Jan 2021, 04:03
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Sounds like a job for Donald Trump.
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