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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 13th Oct 2021, 01:37
  #1781 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: melbourne
Age: 56
Posts: 713
CM may have left the building

Please go careful with such announcements. Ive just come out of hospital with a heart issue. I cant handle so much potential good news in the one day. I am actually just putting some finishing touches to a letter. to Mr Craig Martin. Will hold off. Hopefully i can direct my energies to the one remaining individual, Mr Jonathan Aleck. The man actually responsible for the legislative mess for the last decade. Very keen on any updates. Cheers. Glen.
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Old 13th Oct 2021, 02:14
  #1782 (permalink)  
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I am an elite athlete

Well folks, I’m out of hospital, off work with heaps of free time for a protracted period. Thanks for all the well wishes.

So, what happened?

I was heading out for one of my daily trips to the Supermarket. A particularly exciting excursion if you live in lockdown Melbourne.

Went to open the car door, and that’s the last I remembered. No dizzy spells or any warnings. Woke up in the gutter. An occurrence that hasn’t been that common of recent years. I lay there for a moment reminiscing on the good old days, until a sense of embarrassment came over me. I dusted myself off, after a quick cursory glance to make sure no neighbors had witnessed me.

Started the car up and continued to the Supermarket. A quick glance in the rear-view mirror and was quite startled with what I saw. My boyish good locks somewhat in tatters, with a good dose of blood and a boxers nose. Planned a quick inflight diversion to the hospital and off I headed.

The pain became a bit intense, and common sense took over, so I pulled over and called my daughter who took me to the local hospital, Cabrini.

The triage nurse advised that I had to do a covid swab before being processed. Now as most of us know the people that do these swabs are under some misguided understanding that they are brain surgeons trying to extract some grey matter. Not a pleasant experience at the best of times, and there was no way anybody was shoving anything up my broken nose at that particular point in time. I advised them that they can take a swab from any opening on my body, but just not the nose. Quickly resolved with a mouth swab, and a short wait before they admitted me to the Cardio ward.

It was promptly determined that I was an elite athlete.

Well, they weren’t the doctors words exactly. What he did say was that my heart rate was at 39 beats per minute, and that is usually the domain of elite athletes. You have to take a compliment wherever you can get it.

A few nights wired up like the back of a full-on entertainment system and was given a couple of options.

A pacemaker the next day, or a 6 week trial with a Holter (an electrical tracking device). Taking a couple of days to think about my options. No driving at all until I get it resolved one way or another, and similarly off work until it gets resolved.

i did ask if a dietary change would perhaps be an option. i.e increasing cigarettes and coffee intake to get the heart rate up but i sensed a strong preference for a more traditional medical approach

Unfortunately for Mr. Jonathan Aleck the CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Services, that means I have lots of free time to type way and hold him accountable.

So that’s where we are at. I'm feeling great, energized, and looking forward to coming weeks. Mr. McHeyzer has departed CASA, Mr. Shane Carmody has departed CASA, Graeme Crawford has departed CASA, and I’ve just heard that maybe Mr. Craig Martin has departed CASA.

Only one more to go, I tremble with anticipation as I type that sentence. Thanks for sticking by me folks. Cheers. Glen. I miss this industry, filled with a lot of good people.

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Old 13th Oct 2021, 05:33
  #1783 (permalink)  
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correspondence to CASA Executive Manager Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs


Dear Mr. Jonathan Aleck, CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs,

I am writing to you as the person that I consider accountable and responsible for my entire matter, and the related damage caused.

You were the sole decision maker, and at any time prior to issuing the notification in October 2018 and at any time after, you could have finalized this entire matter in a single day. In fact, you could have completely avoided it had you decided to.

That is the truth, and I will attend to that shortly in correspondence to the CASA Board, CEO and Deputy PM.

The purpose of this correspondence, however, is to call on you to act with integrity and in a truthful manner. If you choose not to do so, I will follow up with more extensive correspondence.

You have misled the Commonwealth Ombudsman to be of the view that CASA only found out about my businesses structure just prior to October 2018.

You know that to be incorrect, and I call on you to clarify this substantial misunderstanding. It is in fact central to this entire matter.

I am exhausted by your conduct. It has cost me my two businesses, my involvement in an industry I loved, cost me millions of dollars, and left me bankrupt. I have negatively impacted on so many people dependant on me. You have destroyed me financially, mentally, and having been released yesterday from hospital after an issue with my heart, physically.

Your “body of work” is complete, I fear it brings you some grotesque satisfaction.

The CASA position presented to the Ombudsman is preposterous. As you are fully aware.
  • I had been operating in that structure for almost a decade prior, since our involvement with AV8 in Darwin. With full CASA knowledge and approval.
  • Ten CASA personnel were involved over a two-year period in the total redesign of my business, and CASA personnel assessed and approved over 600 requirements. Those same CASA personnel have offered to come forward and tell the truth on this matter. I have extended that offer to the Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • CASA revalidated the entire operation in April 2017 when it approved the business as a Part 141/142 (one of the first in Australia), eighteen months before CASA “found out”, about the structure.
  • Routinely audited the entire operation with several CASA personnel over a one-week period in November 2017 (almost a year before you claim you “found out about” my structure.
  • CASA approved our entire Operations Manual Suite referred to as the Exposition and approved bases via formal processes etc etc.
  • CASA personnel regularly attended Group Operational Meetings and Safety meetings on numerous occasions, and CASA provided training to us in Group meetings.
I need not continue. My hope is that I will not need to. It should not be necessary. You have already diverted far too many public CASA resources to covering up this matter, and engineering your desired outcome.

I personally have expended everything, and I mean everything in trying to expose this matter.

Please note that I have not included anyone from CASA in this correspondence. I will leave it to your discretion if you deem it necessary to share this correspondence with the CASA CEO or Board.

My expectation is that you will reach out directly to the Commonwealth Ombudsman via written notification and clarify the truth regrading CASAs knowledge and involvement in my business years before you claim you first became aware. I ask that I be included in that correspondence.

If you in your role, maintain that it is CASAs position that you only became aware of the structure of my business just prior to October of 2018. I will write to the CASA CEO Board and CEO seeking confirmation that will be the official CASA position.

My sincere hope is that the new CEO and Board Chair do not need to become involved in this matter, although it seems increasingly unlikely. This matter is entirely in your hands, I urge you to act appropriate to your role.

Glen Buckley

Last edited by glenb; 13th Oct 2021 at 06:33.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 01:44
  #1784 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Cabrini is a good place to be. They saved my life a few years ago after a Surgeon damaged my heart during what was supposed to be a simple operation.
Good luck for your future battles, after all your efforts Karma must prevail.
Old 14th Oct 2021, 05:43
  #1785 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Zealand
Age: 68
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A blood letting?

Perhaps the blowtorch has been turned up a notch, hence these regulatory experts ‘leaving’ their bubble, their protected CASA cocoon. As has been pointed out already, and as many people know, Mr Aleck is the architect of all things putrid. A little bearded weasel of a human being who likes to appear dottery like an innocent old man. Far from it. He is the reason CASA is the way it is today. Unless ‘Pip’ cuts off the snakes head, nothing will change. He is the last major piece that needs unthroning. Then start afresh at the top and middle tiers, a new day dawns. After the management structure has been revamped, then adopt the Kiwi regs and we are well on our way to normality. Should take 4 years to do if it is done correctly. It’s better than the lame shit Regs and Civil Aviation Act that we have today, considering that work on the Regs commenced in 1988 and it still not finished today, regardless of what big ears Carmody said last year. Lies lies lies.

Glen, I reckon you have finally rattled the CASA cage. These people are not leaving just because you have been asking for them to be dealt with. Crawford was A/g DAS/CEO recently and Martin was promoted not that long ago, so technically they have been climbing the ladder to lofty heights. A sudden departure would not have been part of their normal annual performance appraisal process. No, they have been boned because some very highly ranked bureaucrats are becoming uncomfortable, most likely because of what their Barristers are telling them. And I reckon the PMC are also starting to feel a little heat and they aren’t too pleased about that. Keep that blowtorch alight Glen!
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 06:02
  #1786 (permalink)  
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Dr Discrepancy, aka Smart Aleck, and a few others with ‘expletives deleted’, has some acolytes A. Anusnasti is one, that comes to mind….there are others.
CAsA is corrupt, there is no doubt at all about that. It’s Soviet is self protecting, accountable to none and home of the BS spiel for top CYA.
What a national disgrace.! The true cost financially and of decades of lost opportunities is unfathomable.
And Industry that could ….and a Bureaucrazy that couldn’t ruined it all.
Shame on all Governments and politicians.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 06:06
  #1787 (permalink)  
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Heh Glen, return the favour, send your letter to HIS new boss, whoever it may be!
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 06:32
  #1788 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Paragraph377 View Post
These people are not leaving just because you have been asking for them to be dealt with. Crawford was A/g DAS/CEO recently and Martin was promoted not that long ago, so technically they have been climbing the ladder to lofty heights. A sudden departure would not have been part of their normal annual performance appraisal process. No, they have been boned because some very highly ranked bureaucrats are becoming uncomfortable, most likely because of what their Barristers are telling them. And I reckon the PMC are also starting to feel a little heat and they aren’t too pleased about that. Keep that blowtorch alight Glen!
Do you happen to know their ages as it might be the 54/11 option if they have been in the circus for years.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 10:18
  #1789 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SRFred View Post
Do you happen to know their ages as it might be the 54/11 option if they have been in the circus for years.
Aleck is in his 60’s, well past the APS 54/11 escape route. Besides, he is on around $350k per year and also gets to exercise powers that no doubt feed his narcissistic cravings. With that kind of salary and his never ending erections from having his bullying cravings fed, why would he leave? CASA - the gift that keeps on giving.

P.S I forgot about Anustasi, he has been mentored by Aleck for over 20 years. If one goes then the other should go,otherwise mini-me will step into the Doctors shoes. Not a good thing for Australian aviation.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 07:10
  #1790 (permalink)  
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from Pip Spence:

'I’d like to think the CASA I lead is a respected regulator, a transparent regulator. Inevitably, some people won’t like a decision, but I never want people to be able to say, ‘We have no idea why they decided what they did’."

I have no idea!!
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 07:40
  #1791 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by barleyhi View Post
from Pip Spence:
'I’d like to think the CASA I lead is a respected regulator, a transparent regulator. Inevitably, some people won’t like a decision, but I never want people to be able to say, ‘We have no idea why they decided what they did’."
I have no idea!!
Oh dear me. For Pip to expel that pile of excrement means has spent her entire bureaucratic career living beneath a large stone (or is it just living within the Can’tberra bubble). Besides, how can anyone trust a DAS who is named after an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering? Many years ago Mr Aleck and another complete bureaucratic tool, Martin ‘Beaker’ Dolan (remember him Peeps?) used to both live a stones throw away from each other in their palatial Can’tberra abodes. It would be nice to see Aleck ‘retired’ effective immediately. That way he could could spend more time with the triplets, spend time with Beaker hypothesising about MH 370 while smoking Cuban cigars and laughing about how the government filled their superannuation accounts with millions of taxpayer dollars as a reward for incompetence. “ It’s good to be the king”.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:37
  #1792 (permalink)  
Man Bilong Balus long PNG
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Now officially on Life's scrap heap, now being an Age Pensioner and not liking it one little bit! I'd rather be flying but in the meantime still continuing the never ending search for a bad bottle of Red!
Age: 67
Posts: 2,737
'I’d like to think the CASA I lead is a respected regulator, a transparent regulator.
Which merely goes to show that one does not need illegal mind altering substances to be totally delusional!

Just working in Can'tberra will suffice.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 10:05
  #1793 (permalink)  
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Name shaming, a dick move Paragraph377, stay in the top three rows buddy.
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Old 16th Oct 2021, 06:01
  #1794 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by Josh Cox View Post

Name shaming, a dick move Paragraph377, stay in the top three rows buddy.
Josh Cocks, this thread is about the malfeasance, abuse and bullying of an innocent person - Glen Buckley. CASA through their actions have waived their rights to be treated, respected or even acknowledged. In fact, as an organisation I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire. Mate I’m not interested in your rainbow pyramid. If you don’t like what I write then don’t read it.

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Old 16th Oct 2021, 06:51
  #1795 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Name calling, nice, I didn't know "dick moves" could be a Superpower (Marvel or DC ?).

Unfortunately if you behave, as you are in the posts above, how does that help your cause ?
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Old 16th Oct 2021, 07:04
  #1796 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Age: 68
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Originally Posted by Josh Cox View Post
Name calling, nice, I didn't know "dick moves" could be a Superpower (Marvel or DC ?).

Unfortunately if you behave, as you are in the posts above, how does that help your cause ?
I don’t have a cause. Anyway, you don’t interest me one little bit nor do I care what you think. I won’t indulge you any further as this thread is about Glen and his unfortunate dealings with CASA.

Glen, I’ve heard today that there may well be some interesting Independent nominations for next years federal election. Xenophon has already dropped a few breadcrumbs but there may also be one or two more that would be interested in taking CASA to task in the senate, so who knows what the future may bring.
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Old 17th Oct 2021, 07:23
  #1797 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 1,503
Glen, Trust you are relaxing and recuperating.

In my joust with the council and research to win and knock the ceo off his hobby horse, I came across this.
An earlier way of saying…beware the man who has nothing left to lose.

“Must I at length the Sword of Justice draw?
Oh cursed effects of necessary Law,
How ill my fear they by my mercy scan,
Beware the fury of a patient man”

You are that patient man.
Go well.
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Old 17th Oct 2021, 09:42
  #1798 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2017
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Posts: 786
How's the budget going Mate?


We can wind it up again (with pleasure).
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Old 18th Oct 2021, 02:24
  #1799 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
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Posts: 713
Letter to Craig 1 of 6

Hi folks, the following post will be extremely long and run over half a dozen posts due word limits. Most of it is a cut and paste from previously submitted and posted material. The most pertinent part of this correspondence is the introduction to Mr. Craig martin in the first post, calling on him to comments against the commitments he gave me in the meeting from the accountants office on April 4th and found in the attached timeline.

CASA has led the Ombudsman's Office to believe that I was "unwilling and unable" to resolve the issue of the contracts. I argue that CASA deliberately dragged the matter out for 8 months, as evidenced by this post/ Consider that i have now been deprived of revenue for 6 months.18/10/21

Dear Mr Craig Martin,

Please note that I have included the CEO of CASA Ms. Pip Spence and the CASA Board in this correspondence, as the matters are significant, and have the potential to impact on aviation safety, if my allegations are to be substantiated.

I understand that over coming weeks your intention is to depart CASA. Despite our differences, I do wish you well in your future career outside of aviation safety.

Prior to your departure, and while still in your role as the CASA Executive Manager of Regulatory Oversight, I would like to provide you with the opportunity to correct any errors in my recollection of our meeting on April 4th, 2019.

I am working on a timeline of some of the core issues, and important dates. Don’t worry, I appreciate that what follows, appears to substantial document, and you will no doubt be extremely busy. I don’t expect you to read through it in its entirety.

Can I ask that you scroll down to one date only and that date is April 4th, 2019? I do not seek confirmation of anything else in this correspondence although I would like to give you the opportunity, while still in your role, to refute my recollection of the contents of that meeting, and the firm commitments you gave me on behalf of CASA at that meeting.

From my clear and well supported recollection, you gave me a very firm commitment that finally after 8 months, CASA was about to lift the trading restrictions, and let my business resume operations, immediately that I embedded the CASA suggested text, and returned it to you.

I embedded the suggested text in the commercial contracts. Exactly as CASA suggested.

On the 9th of April, CASA wrote to me indicating that the matter was now finalised, and therefore my business could resume operations, and that the trading restrictions would be lifted. That information came through to me at 6.30PM, and confirmed the commitments Mr Martin had given me in the meeting from my accountant’s office on the 4th April, only days earlier.

Then at 11.30 PM the same night, only hours later, CASA wrote to me and reversed that approval, and I was back in exactly the same situation I had been for the last 8 months, with the trading restrictions still in place.

My understanding is that there was some intervention or communication with Mr Jonathan Aleck, the CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs in that interim period, although I am not asking you to comment on that.

At To clarify. I am only seeking comment against my recollection of the commitments you gave on April 4th, 2019, as reflected in the following timeline, on that date only, nothing more, nothing less. If you dispute anything, or disagree with my version of the commitments given, could you please clearly communicate that to me.

I hope that you will respond to my fair and reasonable request. It is important, and it is pertinent. An employee of CASA has misled the Ombudsman’s Office to believe that there was multiple well intentioned efforts made by CASA. I steadfastly refute that assertion by CASA Your commitments given to me on April 4th 2019, and then reversed by Mr Jonathan Aleck are indicative, that in fact no well intentioned efforts were made by CASA.

Yours thankfully,

Glen Buckley


I had been a vocal critic of CASAs implementation of the regulatory suite which was delivered a decade behind schedule, and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. I was approached by the media on these topics, and I made truthful comment.

It is not unlikely that my criticism of some elements of CASA may possibly have caused some employees to act for reasons other than aviation safety or regulatory compliance. It is increasingly likely if allegations have been made against those individuals previously, and that lead to an ABC investigative story, as you are aware.

I walked into my business on October 23rd, 2018, having no inclination that by the end of the day CASA would advise me that my flying school of more than a decade, MFT had suddenly been declared an unauthorised operation, and my business APTA was declared to be operating in breach of the regulations. Absolutely no concerns at all had been raised by CASA prior to receiving that notification. Initially, and for the first two months the CASA position was that my operation of more than 10 years had been declared unlawful. It was ludicrous but concerning.

You are also aware that several businesses were forced into closure directly because of the restrictions on my businesses ability to trade. Employees lost their jobs, significant investment was lost, suppliers were left unpaid, students training was impacted, many millions of dollars were lost by a number of well-intentioned Operators, and the impact on me on my family has included the loss of my home and my two businesses. After enduring all of that, CASA then wrote to my Employer advising that my continuing employment was “no longer tenable based on comments that I was making publicly”. Those comments were me defending myself against CASAs actions.

I was now completely forced out of the industry I loved, and had spent 25 years working in. I was left unemployed, depressed, and it has left me destitute at 56 years of age. Like many business owners, my business was my security in retirement. It has gone. My wife and I will most likely never be able to recover from this situation. My wife has had a total of four days free of work since that correspondence in October 2018, as she desperately tries to rebuild our life from the start. In all of this, the impact on my family is the most heart-breaking to watch. Soon, I will make my final submission to your Office and that will clearly outline the impact of the actions and decisions made by the three CASA employees that I have named.

I can assure you that I am someone very affected by the decision making of CASA employee, Mr Aleck, working closely with Mr Martin and Mr Crawford

Those consequences are directly as a result of the “opinion” of a CASA employee. They are not supported by a safety case or regulations. In fact, quite the contrary, there is a demonstrable safety case that CASA actions have actually impacted negatively on safety. As stated, it is the application of an individual’s opinion. It may not be well intentioned and led to my allegations of misfeasance in public office that I made on 20/11/20 before the Senate Inquiry.

Allegations of misconduct were previously made against those same three CASA Employees by Mr Bruce Rhoades. A pilot who died of cancer, desperately trying to bring the alleged misconduct of those same individuals under investigation. under investigation, and repair the enormous harm bought to him and his family. This story was aired on the ABCs 7.30 Report. I mention this because many other affected people have contacted me and offered to make a confidential submission to your office raising the same allegations against those same three individuals. It is reasonable to assume that “where there is smoke, there is fire”. These are not vindictive or vexatious allegations. These are facts. The impact is real and can clearly be demonstrated. The named CASA personnel cannot say the same. They are completely unable to present to your office a supporting safety case, a regulatory breach, or in fact demonstrate any sort of a well-intentioned motivation.

These considerations are significant, and most especially because CASA had no supporting safety case, never identified any regulatory breach, never raised any queries as to the quality outcomes of the Organisation. It was literally just that, a change of opinion. The decision maker took no external legal advice, applied his opinion, and made a decision that he was not compelled to make. In making that decision he would have been fully aware of the implications on the business, and throughout the process I wrote to CASA on multiple occasions highlighting the significant commercial impact, which I will address later in this document.

The decision maker within CASA was not compelled to make the decisions that he made, and there was no precedent. They had no supporting regulation, and CASA has never identified their supporting safety case despite multiple requests made by me. If the intent of the application of decision is not made on the basis of a regulatory breach and has no supporting safety case, that application of opinion should be able to be questioned, and most especially so for the individual who has been impacted.

The impact of the “opinion” is totally unacceptable and would have been completely avoided had CASA chosen to “engage” with me rather than adopt an unnecessarily combative stance and place those restrictions on the business. As I have stated previously I only needed CASA to clearly and concisely advise me of the terminology that they wanted in the contracts, and the entire matter could have been resolved at any time within 48 hours. There was no resistance at all from APTA or the entities depending on APTA. Our interest was to have this matter fully resolved to CASAs satisfaction at any time.

Please note, and related to the matters before you now, that I have made allegations of “misfeasance in public office”, against CASA employees, Mr Crawford, Mr Martin, Mr Aleck and Mr Carmody in Parliament before the current Senate Inquiry on 20/11/20 which can be accessed here and located at the “12:40” position on that recording. RRAT Rural & Regional Affairs & Transport - 20/11/2020 08:49:59 - Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au)

I have also made a number of written submissions to the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia at the time, Mr Michael McCormack, as the Minister responsible for CASA. None have been responded to by his Office.

I would like to provide some additional important and pertinent information that I believe needs to be considered as part of your investigation, and most particularly regarding your preliminary opinion where you were of the view.

“On examining the correspondence between yourself and CASA subsequent to the notice of October 2018 it appears to me that there was an impasse of sorts, though CASA appears to have made a number of good faith attempts to assist you in resolving the issue. I accept that you would have liked CASA to provide clearer advice about what material to place in contracts between APTA and members of the alliance. However, it seems to me that CASA provided sufficient assistance in the circumstances.”

Regarding your preliminary opinion, that CASA provided sufficient assistance, and that CASA made a number of good faith attempts, I strongly refute that, based on my own personal experience and would like to submit further supporting information for consideration prior to your final determination.

Regarding there being a number of good faith attempts. There was only the one attempt by CASA, rather than a number of good faith attempts. That attempt came almost 6 months after restrictions were placed on the business on April 2nd, 2019, by which time the business was decimated. CASA had contacted all customers and told them that I was acting unlawfully many months earlier. The timeline of 6 months was commercially fatal, due to the unreasonably long delays, and a major contributor to the significant commercial harm done to so many stakeholders.

Regarding the finding that, I “would have liked CASA to provide clearer advice”. It is much more than that. I was completely dependent on CASA to provide that advice. They were asking for something additional to the legislation, which we had fully attended to in our Exposition. Because it was something outside of the legislation, I needed guidance on what CASA wants. I complied with every bit of legislation. The existing legislation is very clear on my accountability, and after 25 years in the industry and almost half of it as the owner of a large flying school, I understood those obligations at an expert level, and the legislative environment I was operating in. There was nothing else that my Exposition could attend to. If CASA wanted to design a new rule, that was fine, and I was willing to comply, but I was not in a position to guess what it was that CASA was after. All requirements are held within the CASA approved and designed Exposition. I have attended to this later in the correspondence, where I deal specifically with the contract versus the Exposition.

Please allow me to go through the following timeline, with particular attention to the communications between CASA and I, in April of 2019. Importantly the reversal of commitment given to me by Mr Aleck and Mr Martin, shortly after that meeting


The Company commenced operations at Moorabbin Airport.


The Company commenced operations at an additional base for a Company called AV8, in Darwin at the International Airport, with two other bases outside of Darwin. This was fully approved by CASA. It is this multi base format that commenced in 2012, yet CASA claim they did not become aware of until October 2018, more than 6 years later, when they claimed it was unlawful.


A second Company called TVSA based outside of Melbourne also joins my Company, at the time trading as Melbourne Flight Training. CASA, despite fully approving this additional base, will later claim that CASA was not aware of the structure.

April 2017

The Company completed a two-year process and a very significant investment with CASA, to redesign all systems and procedures to meet the new regulatory requirements of Part 141/142. In April 2017 APTA was one of the first schools in Australia to obtain the new Part 141/142 Approval. At the time of approval, we were operating in a multi base format. This revalidation entailed a complete overhaul of systems and procedures to ensure the multi base format met the new regulatory requirements. Every aspect of every system was designed in conjunction with CASA and contained within our Exposition. CASA assessed, approved, and audited every one of those systems and procedures. Ten CASA personnel were involved in this process, and the entire proposal was sent for a Peer review within CASA. The approval was issued by CASA. This was a significant project costing many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

November 2017

Six months after obtaining the new CASA approval, the Company undergoes a routine CASA Level 1 audit. A level 1 audit is the highest level of audit that CASA conduct. The audit is standard procedure after the issue of a Part 141/142 Certificate. The audit was conducted at the Head Office location and also at the bases that CASA later claims they were not aware of. No issues of concern were raised at the audit. No concerns at all were raised regarding the structure of the Organisation that CASA had fully revalidated only six months earlier, and as the Company had been doing for many years prior. The contracts that had been in place and provided to CASA were the contracts that we went to audit with. Absolutely no concerns are raised by CASA.

23rd October 2018.

With no warning, after more than a decade of safe and compliant operations, CASA provides notification that my business is operating illegally, is “not authorised”, and most likely subject to regulatory action. I am provided with only 7 days surety of operations. CASA places several restrictions on the business’s ability that halt the business taking on any new customers or students from that date.

There was no allegation by CASA that we were doing anything unsafe, and that we were doing anything wrong. Quite simply, CASA changed their mind, or rather, someone within CASA changed his mind.

The next day, I notify in CASA in writing of the impact of the restrictions with this correspondence attached as Appendix A. My initial estimates are that the restrictions will cost me more than $10,000 per week. As the restrictions continued for many months, that figure grew to approximately $20,000 per week.

Only eighteen months earlier the business and its structure were revalidated by CASA. To say I was completely bewildered would be an understatement. There was no basis in safety or regulatory breaches for CASA to have taken this action. It was totally inexplicable then and remains so today. It came with no prior indication. No one from CASA had raised any concerns, not even by way of a face-to-face chat or a telephone call. Absolutely nothing at all. As a family-owned business this was devastating news.

20th December 2018

In the Melbourne CASA Office on 20th December 2018, the CASA Executive Manager of Regulatory Services advised me and my father that “under the current CASA regulations the APTA model would not be accepted by CASA and was operating illegally. It may work some day in the future but not now”.

I was in dismay. I recall that I responded, “that will send me bankrupt”, as it now has.

I was advised by the CASA Executive Manager that CASA would work with me to dismantle APTA but could not propose any practical solutions that would not result in a loss of jobs, decrease safety and lead to the closure of businesses, and loss of significant investment.

Both my father and I spent the train journey home working out how to handle the staff redundancies. Many of my staff had many years of loyal service. I also expected potential legal action from my members, and understandably so. I had led them to believe that APTA was fully approved by CASA, as it was. From their perspective there would understandably be some suspicion that I had mislead them on the legitimacy of APTA if CASA were now shutting me down. There were several businesses now dependent on me for their surety of operations, and also my Suppliers who were supporting me during this “temporary” interruption to business with the business’s revenue restricted. They had already been supporting me for two months since the matter commenced.

Later, CASA became aware they had erred and had no basis for that determination that I was operating illegally, leading to a change of approach, and the topic would now alternate over a range of topics. They fell away as CASA realised none of them could “stick” and focussed on the issue of “contracts” which is one of the considerations before the Ombudsman now.

It is important to realise, that at this stage, CASA has stated that my operation is illegal, the terminology in the initial notification makes that very clear. There are no concerns about safety or quality outcomes of the Organisation. It is a determination that my business is illegal, and all indications are that I will be closed down. The ramifications of this correspondence are clearly laid out in Appendix A.

20th March 2019

I meet with the CASA Executive Manager of Regulatory Services and Surveillance. Mr Aleck at Melbourne airport and have a discussion regarding APTA. Mr Aleck produces a checklist that he expects APTA to attend to. Surprisingly, it is exactly the same checklist that CASA had already ticked off on and can be found as Appendix B. This is the checklist that APTA and CASA used to design the Exposition for APTA over a two-year period. The suite of documents that are the backbone of every aspect of operations. Every single item that Mr Aleck identified at that meeting had been assessed by CASA as satisfactory two years earlier, audited for compliance by CASA, and contained within our Exposition, a part of which has been provided to the Ombudsman Office. It seemed absurd that he was showing me that same checklist. Everything on that list had been assessed, approved, and audited by CASA. There was nothing else that I could write, everything on the list had been attended to. It is important to appreciate that our existing commercial contract directed the signatories to comply with our Exposition (operations manuals). For clarity, we had the Exposition, and we had a commercial contract. The commercial contract made it clear that all operations were in accordance with the Exposition, and everybody had to sign to say that they would comply with the Exposition. That checklist was obtained by me under FOI and is attached as Appendix B.

In writing this paragraph, I have realised that this particular topic needs to be very clearly pointed out.

There is no CASA legislative requirement for a “contract”, but there is for the Exposition. Everyone who operates under my authorisation at all bases signs the Exposition regularly to state that they will comply with the Exposition. Each staff member did that on every day that they operated.

The contract, which is of a commercial nature, and attached as Appendix C is our first version, and directs that all operations will be in accordance with our CASA approved Exposition. I was in an impossible situation, I did not know what CASA wanted, so could not possibly resolve the issue. It was incumbent upon Mr Aleck to clearly and concisely advise me what it was that he wanted, that I had not already attended to.

2nd April 2019

It is only now after having restrictions in place for 6 months that CASA makes the first attempt to provide me with guidance. This point is significant. How can I have my business deprived of revenue for 6 months waiting for CASA to determine what will satisfy them, in a completely new requirement that they have placed on my business, and on my business only.

It seems reasonable to me that when CASA placed those trading restrictions on the business six months earlier based on content of the contracts, they should have had a clear indication of what they wanted at that time, and it should not have taken 6 months. This is now two years after the business was revalidated as a Part 141/142 Organisation doing exactly what we were doing for the decade previously. I believe that this point is significant. If CASA wanted to put something into the “contracts”, I was fully supportive of that. CASA met no resistance from me, but it was incumbent on CASA 6 months earlier to have an idea of what they required. In order for CASA to determine that something is wrong, they should have a concept of what “right” looks like.

If CASA provided the required text that would satisfy them, I could have had it embedded, and returned within 48 hours. The restrictions could have been lifted, and I could have returned to Business as Usual. It really was that simple. The matter should have been completely resolved in less than 7 days, as I believed that it would be, and am certain could have been. But it took CASA a staggering 6 months.

I attended to all CASA legislation in my Exposition. If CASA want something in the commercial contracts, that was not already covered by the existing legislation, that is fine, but I cannot possibly speculate what that is. It was incumbent upon CASA to clearly and concisely advise me because they were requiring something outside of the legislation. Despite the fact that CASA were not prepared to be a signatory to the contract.

These restrictions CASA put in place were not proportionate, and most especially because they remained in place for 6 months before CASA was able to identify to me, what they required in the “contracts”. Furthermore, I do not believe the restrictions were lawful, and strayed dramatically from the policies and procedures outlined in CASAs Enforcement manual, Writing Guide, Regulatory Philosophy, Ministers Statement of Expectation, PGPA,

It was unlawful, unfair, and totally unnecessary. A well-intentioned discussion would have had the entire matter promptly resolved in a matter of days. I emphasise that it took CASA 6 months to clearly and concisely advise me what they required. Throughout this entire period, I am unable to take on customers or students as the entire business is operating on an “interim approval” and CASA have placed an administrative freeze on all required regulatory tasks that the business is reliant on.

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Old 18th Oct 2021, 02:27
  #1800 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Letter to Craig 2 of 6

2nd April 2019

With the trading restrictions in place throughout the last 6 months CASA finally provides guidance on the content that they would like APTA to place in the “contracts”. It seems reasonable to me that when CASA placed those trading restrictions on the business six months earlier based on content of the contracts, they should have had a clear indication of what they wanted at that time, and it should not have taken 6 months. This is now two years after the business was revalidated as a Part 141/142 Organisation doing exactly what we were doing many years before, and as far back as our Darwin operation 6 years earlier.

4th April 2019 at 8.30AM

I emailed Mr Peter White, the CASA Executive Manager Regulatory Services and Surveillance at the time, requesting a meeting at 11.30AM that same day from the office of my accountancy firm.

I advised that the meeting would be about the potential cessation of all operations at APTA, Ballarat Aero Club, Latrobe Valley Aero Club, Simjet, Whitestar Aviation, AVIA and Learn to Fly, and MFT. This situation had come around due to cashflow difficulties as a result of the CASA trading restrictions being in place for 6 months. The affected businesses had been unable to enrol customers for a period of 6 months. As we have seen most recently with COVID restrictions, few businesses simply could survive 6 months deprived of revenue, and in my case with no Government support at all.

My accountant was obligated to intervene, and sought an explanation, before advising me on how to proceed. By this stage my parents had funded $300,000 towards staff salaries so that I could avoid redundancies. The business had been unable to take on new customers for 6 months, many existing customers were departing. Staff and customers had lost confidence in their ongoing job security and training. The reputation of the business and my own personal reputation had been significantly impacted.

It was imperative that the matter of the contracts was resolved at that meeting. The matter was time critical; my funds were completely exhausted; Suppliers were understandably concerned. These were long term suppliers with established and valued relationships with my business. They backed me during the initial restrictions on the businesses cashflow. They like me believed that this matter should have been resolved months ago. None of us could have imagined that it would not have been resolved by now. The business could not proceed if the restrictions remained in place. It was imperative that the “interim operations” and other CASA imposed restrictions be lifted and the business permitted to return to “business as usual’.

I recounted to my accountant, the story to date of the delays in CASA producing what they wanted in the contracts, and other matters including the use of the Aviation Ruling, the advice from Peter White that Mr Aleck had determined that APTA would not be permitted, the many allegations of regulatory baseless breaches that CASA made, but withdrew every single one of them, as they were not valid.

My accountant had grave concerns about the impact of the restrictions on the business over the previous 6 months, and like me, could not see any basis on safety or law for the CASA actions. It was a change of opinion. By now the business is under extreme financial distress. My accountant was extremely concerned that after 6 months waiting for CASA to determine what they want in the contracts; the matter was still not resolved.

4th April 2019 at 11.30AM

The meeting proceeded at 11.30 AM by way of a conference call.

Mr Peter White, the CASA Executive Manager who had been dealing with my matter appeared to cease his employment with CASA at about this time.

In attendance representing CASA was the Executive Manager Aviation Group Mr Graeme Crawford, and the Executive Manager of Regulatory Services and Surveillance, Mr Craig Martin. Also in attendance were two staff from my accountancy firm and two staff from APTA.

My note taking of this event is comprehensive. All four attendees took comprehensive quotes with emphasis on quotes made by the CASA personnel. The matters that would be attended to at that meeting would determine if I was to cease all operations that day or resolve this matter immediately. By now my home had been sold, my parents had spent their life savings and it was increasingly difficult to meet my payroll obligations. My families funds across three generations had simply run out. There were multiple attendees taking notes and recording statements and commitments. Those notes can be validated by four statutory declarations of the attendees.

At that meeting, CASA Executives Mr Martin and Mr Crawford individually gave me firm and repeated commitments that if I embedded the CASA suggested text, that was provided to me only two days earlier by CASA into the contracts, then the restrictions on the businesses ability to trade would be lifted. APTA would be promptly approved to continue operations and as CASA termed it, return to “business as usual” as it had been 6 months earlier. This commitment was made by both Mr Martin and Mr Crawford at that meeting. I emphasise that each of them gave me repeated assurances.

Mr Martin and Mr Crawford repeatedly confirmed that if I embed the suggested text into the contracts that all would be resolved. They confirmed that once the amended contract was returned the restrictions that had been in place for six months, would be lifted and confirmed that is the advice they had received from Mr Peter White. Mr Martin advised me to get the contracts to them as soon as possible. “Once signed and returned to CASA, we would be returning to business as usual”.

Mr Martin urged me to get the contract back as soon as possible, as that was “all we were waiting for”. His tone suggested that they were waiting on me, as they were. Although I had only received the text from CASA two days prior, after waiting a staggering 6 months with trading restrictions in place.

I advised Mr Martin and Mr Crawford that the completed contracts would be returned in the next day or two, we had only had the information supplied to us by CASA two days earlier.

My accountant queried as to why it had taken 6 months for CASA to provide the suggested text and lift the restrictions on the business. Mr Crawford advised my accountant that he didn’t have to explain CASAs position and that he didn’t have to talk to him because he was the accountant. It was obvious at that meeting that Mr Martin and Mr Crawford were unable to justify the unacceptable timelines and were not going to explain the reason that it took CASA 6 months to work out what it was that they wanted.

There was no doubt in my mind or my accountants that at the conclusion of that meeting CASA would lift the restrictions if I returned the contracts with the CASA guidance fully embedded, because those were the repeated assurances given to me at that meeting by Mr Martin, and Mr Crawford.

I did ask Mr Martin and Mr Crawford why APTA was required to have a contract when other operators doing the same thing did not have the contractual requirement placed on them. CASA advised that my operation was unlawful without contracts but would not explain why my flying school was being targeted, but others were permitted to do the same thing for at least the last 25 years, and I had been able to do it for the last 6 years.

I pointed out that CASA had held contracts for 18 months, before they sent that correspondence in October 2018, and asked why we were still dealing with this years later.

I explained very clearly the commercial impact on me, my family, the suppliers, customers, students, employees etc. Both men were already fully aware of the commercial impact on the business and the impact on my wellbeing. This was however reiterated at the meeting because, it was important to ensure both men were fully aware that this matter needed to be resolved promptly. Several businesses and their employees were depending on this matter being resolved. The business had now been unable to attract new business for 6 months.

My accountant again reiterated the commercial imperative. “We do not have much time”. “We need to get this done or we must wind up the business” “we need to try and make up the substantial lost ground”

Mr Martin said that Mr Whites email of April 2nd answered the accountants question. Mr Martin was answering in the affirmative. And kept referring to that email, assuring me that if I utilised the CASA suggested text, the restrictions would be lifted.

Whenever I tried to get an explanation, I was repeatedly met with “If you want to go back six months, well go back six months”.

Mr Martin assured me that once the contracts were signed, restrictions would be lifted.

Mr Martin advised that CASA could not approve new customers until the contracts were resolved. He advised that CASA was not permitting new customers to join because they were waiting to get contracts finalised.

I confirmed that regulatory tasks that had been on hold for 6 months would now proceed. These courses were APTA courses, both Mr Martin and Mr Crawford both advised that the tasks would proceed once the contract was back. He advised that tasks were put on hold because the APTA model may not be permitted.

Mr Martin read me document of April 2nd which is attached as Appendix C to reiterate that restrictions would soon be lifted based on Mr Whites advice.

I reiterated that I was prepared to put anything into the contracts that CASA required., and had been since October ,6 months earlier.

Mr Martin explained that APTA was unlawful without contracts, but advised it was “not a contract for CASA”. My accountant pointed out that in fact it was CASA wanting to become involved in the commercial contract between members, CASA was actually interfering in the contract, and particularly so if CASA was not prepared to be a signatory to their required contract. My accountant expressed his confusion ta CASA wanting to put matters of control and supervisory responsibility in commercial contracts.

Mr Martin confirmed that “CASA had perhaps given me incorrect advice”.

My accountant again sought a clear direction from Mr Martin, and highlighted the financial impact on the business, and that he was depending on a resolution, or he would be obligated to direct me to cease operations, as the businesses funds were by now exhausted and it was becoming increasingly difficult for the business to meet its obligations to suppliers and staff.

At this meeting Mr Craig Martin stated that his predecessor, Mr Peter White has seen the positive outcomes of APTA firsthand. This occurred on Saturday January 12th, 2019, when Mr Peter White visited the facilities.

This 6-month delay had come close to destroying the business. It was becoming obvious that I would need to approach my parents for further funding to avoid staff redundancies. I had been unable to take on any new customers for a period of 6 months, and the accountant was advising that I must cease operations, unless this matter could be immediately resolved.

To summarise this meeting Mr Craig Martin and Mr Graeme Crawford gave me very clear commitments, that if I embedded the CASA text, I could return to business as usual. On 9th April, CASA would not meet the commitments made at that meeting.

9th April 2019 at 7.33AM

I embeds fully all CASA suggestions into the contract as advised 4 days earlier, and six months after trading restrictions are in place. All Members are fully satisfied.

That contract is returned to CASA for review by Mr Peter White the CASA Executive Manager of Regulatory Services and Surveillance at the time, and my primary contact within CASA.

My reasonable expectation at this stage was that the business would soon be able to work towards repairing the enormous damage done. as usual as CASA had already assured me on so many previous occasions during the previous 6 months, and most recently by Mr Martin and Mr Crawford at the Accountants Office days earlier on April 4th.

9th April 2019 at 6.32PM

CASA has now received the finalised contracts from me and my members approximately 12 hours earlier. Peter White the CASA Executive Manager of Regulatory Services and Surveillance at the time, reviews the contracts and sends me an email titled I can confirm the content is acceptable to CASA”. Within the body of the email, it goes on to state.

“Dear Glen, I have reviewed the draft contract provided this date. I can confirm the content is acceptable to CASA. My appreciation to you and your staff for provision of same…….”

On receiving that email, I was overwhelmed. Finally after more than 6 months I thought it was over.. By now the business had been decimated and my parents had put in $300,000 of their own money to ensure I could avoid any staff redundancies over the previous 6 months that the trading restrictions had been in place. Many of my customers and staff had already left because of the previous 6 months uncertainty, and I had been unable to take on new customers or students for 6 months The accountant had very firmly advised me that this matter must be resolved immediately, or he would have to intervene. He would not permit continued operations now costing approximately $20,000 per week.

I have now had a commitment from the following three individuals that if I embed the CASA suggested text that I have waited 6 months for, my businesses MFT and APTA will be able to continue.
  1. CASA Executive Manager of the Aviation Group- Mr Graeme Crawford at my accountant’s office less than a week prior.
  2. CASA Executive Manager Regulatory Services and Surveillance- Mr Peter White via email
  3. CASA Acting Executive Manager Regulatory Services and Surveillance- Mr Craig Martin at my accountant’s office less than a week prior.

There is no doubt in my mind that this matter that has dragged on unnecessarily for 6 months will finally be resolved, and I can return to business as usual and try to repair the substantial damage that has been caused. The cashflow crisis on the business has now been continuing for 6 months, my parents funds are exhausted, as are mine, and the businesses is on the cusp of collapse.

This good news is to be short-lived.

9th April 2019 at 10.56PM.

Only hours later, after having there is yet another complete reversal and I am back at the start of the process again when CASA write back to me and ask, “can you hold off distributing for a day or two”.

The only two individuals within CASA that have more seniority than Mr. White, Mr. Martin and Mr. Crawford are Mr. Shane Carmody, the CEO of CASA and Mr Jonathan Aleck, the CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs. It is more likely that Mr. Aleck was the decision maker of the reversal, as he is the Executive Manager responsible for these matters, although that is only my reasonable assumption, I have no evidence of that.

Something happened on the evening of Tuesday 9th April to lead to a complete reversal from CASA.

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