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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 18th Sep 2023, 09:55
  #2861 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by glenb

Dear Jonathan,

Thankyou for advising me that those documents have been requested, and that the investigation is underway.

As you are aware I am alleging that a small group of Senior CASA Employees worked collaboratively to bring harm to me personally, noting that most of those individuals have now left the employ of CASA, although a small number do remain., and most notable of those being Mr Aleck, and Mr Brad Lacey. I also believe that other CASA employees chose to collude through their "inaction".

These are the most serious of allegations as you will appreciate, and most particularly because of their respective roles of the particular Government Department that they work in. i.e. the Civil Aviation Safety authority (CASA)

As with any investigation an important first step is to ascertain motivation.

Can you advise me if the investigator is aware that I believe that Mr Edwaeds actions were part of a more collaborative and collusional approach by the most senior CASA Executive to abuse their significant power and bring harm to me personally?

Could I also respectfully request that you advise the Investigator that I will be in Canberra for a meeting with CASA on Tuesday 3rd October, and could make myself available on either the Monday 2nd October in the afternoon or Wednesday 4th October in the morning if a face to face meeting could be facilitated.

As an afterthought that has just occurred to me, that perhaps you could put to the Board.

As an alternative to the potentially unnecessary approach of involving lawyers, could a consideration be that the independent investigator attend that meeting as an alternative to any lawyers? Could that option be put to the CASA Board.

Regards, Glen Buckley
Please understand this is written with the greatest empathy for what you’ve been through. My comments come with good intentions, with a genuine desire to see you find your desired ending.

Having said that, I have to be completely honest:

Glen, what the hell are you doing?

You’ve been told for 3+ years to lawyer up and stop pissing in the wind. And now you’ve finally got there - you offer them a get out of jail free card with this BS nice-guy offer??

What exactly is driving this sort of behaviour? Is it a desperate need to be seen as a victim to garner support? Is there someone in your personal life you’re desperately trying to prove your incorruptibility to?

Make no mistake about it, they’re going to snatch these sorts of opportunities to continue avoiding facing the music.

I just cant understand why someone would keep on willingly doing what you’re doing.

Genuine question - how many more times will they need to screw you over before you realise they aren’t going to play by your rules. YOU CANT NICE THEM TO A SOLUTION.

They say the definition of stupidity is trying the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.

You’ve indicated in several posts how this saga has taken years and years away from your life/happiness. Isn’t it time you drew a line under this for yourself and your family?

Retract the offer.
Take your lawyer.
Drop the nice-guy act.

Good luck.
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Old 18th Sep 2023, 21:02
  #2862 (permalink)  
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Slippery Pete

Sitting here in pancake parlor about to have my first pre work coffee and attend to some correspondence when I came across your post.

First, let me very sincerely thank you. I appreciate the insights, and i take them board with the good intent that they were sent. Cheers.

I don't really know how to explain this, but many people don't 'get me". Thats not to say that they don't like me, but they think that my way of thinking is a bit different.

I spent three years in Youth Justice working in an extremely explosive and dangerous environment, armed only with my mouth and a good pair of running shoes. The running shoes never got used for their intended purpose.

I am naïve, but every conflict can be avoided through two criteria. "Clear expectations" and "good intent." Every single one of them. It's been a fundamental principle of mine, and I've drilled it into my kids from a young age. Well intentioned communication solves everything.

Legal action is seriously a complete failure of everything that i believe in, and it will just truly break my heart if there is no other way but effectively get into a fist fight. This entire matter will then drag on far longer i believe, that will be the CASA tactic. It is after all their greatest weapon. We have seen how CASA has prolonged the Ombudsman investigation to become perhaps the longest in the history of that office i suggest.

Saying that, I have established contact with perhaps the most appropriate lawyer in Australia for this matter and expect to hear back today or tomorrow.

I have taken legal advice on this before and be assured that a claim that I am making has challenges attached to it. It is not easy, and CASA Employees are very well protected. Compounding this is the argument that CASA will promote, and that is that there was no harm caused to me, as the business was effectively given away in June 0f 2019, when CASA determined that all personnel must also be employees, which effectively meant that all but one base were forced to discontinue operations. The argument being that the "business" was the victim, not Glen Buckley.

Legal action is not in anyone's best interest, and best avoided.

Saying that I am pursuing it with determination and will let you know whether this particular firm is able to assist me. I will find out today or tomorrow.

I will continue to pursue the path of "good intent" in the interim, until it is exhausted, as it almost is.

Just to recap on my opening, i genuinely appreciate the feedback whether it be positive or negative, as long as it is well intentioned as i know yours was, cheers. Glen

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Old 18th Sep 2023, 21:19
  #2863 (permalink)  
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ICC response to proposal for investigator to attend

Hi Glen

The complaint was referred to the investigator in the terms it was originally made. As you are aware, I am not involved in ongoing dialogue with the external investigator but I will arrange for details of your availability to be passed on.

The external review is focussed on the events of 6 February 2020, while your meeting with the Chair and the DAS is to discuss the outcome of the Ombudsman’s review of other concerns. That being the case, I understand CASA does not consider there would be any benefit to the Investigator attending the meeting and does not propose making any arrangements of the type you suggest.

Jonathan Hanton
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Old 28th Sep 2023, 23:08
  #2864 (permalink)  
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Letter to CASA re. next Tuesday meeting


To the CASA CEO and CASA Board,

I am writing to confirm that my wife and I will be attending the scheduled meeting with the CASA Chair, Mark Binskin, and the CASA CEO, Pip Spence on
Tuesday 3rd October between 1400 and 1600 at Aviation House,16 Furzer Street in Philip, ACT.

My understanding is that the CASA ICC, Mr Hanton will also be attending,

I had previously advised that I was considering bringing along a person with legal training as a "support person" in order to help me to understand CASAs actions and decisions. I have tried. The truth is that I have left myself insufficient time frames to arrange that, so the attendees from my side will be my wife and I only.

I assume that CASA would have access to recording facilities for meetings of this nature, and I would request that CASA make a recording of the meeting with a copy of that recording being made available to me as soon as practicable after our meeting.

I would also welcome any other attendees at the meeting including Mr Aleck, if you deem it appropriate.

You have my assurance that I will be respectful and professional with every Employee, as I always have done, on every occasion that I have engaged with CASA Employees.

I will forewarn you that my 45kg wife, while not physically intimidating, will most likely be more "emotional". Please understand that of everybody affected by this totally unnecessary matter, my wife has been the most affected, and continues to be. She will not be aggressive, but saddened, impacted. and there may possibly be some tears. This meeting will be a significant day for her, as you will appreciate. She intends to participate primarily as an observer to try and comprehend this matter.

From my perspective. Quite simply, I operated a business for over a decade, and then one day, a single CASA Employee from his Canberra Office, with no legislative basis and no industry precedent, and no forewarning decided that my business only, and not others, had become unlawful, and I was to potentially subject to prosecution, CASA placed crippling restrictions on the business for 8 months, and then CASA determined that all personnel operating under an AOC must also be Employees of the same Company that owns the AOC, effectively closing the business.

As you are aware, I am fully satisfied that it was an "unlawful" determination. It should have been accompanied by a "decision letter" in accordance with CASAs own stipulated procedures, but it was not, and this breach of following CASA own procedures is what denied me procedural fairness, as the trading restrictions remained in place for 8 months while CASA ``rethought" about the structure. I had no right of review or appeal.

It was a complete change in regulatory approach that applied to my business only. As you are aware I am fully satisfied that a small but senior group of CASA personnel commenced an engineered process to bring harm to me personally.

CASA advised that I could possibly return to lawfulness and have the trading restrictions lifted,if I could satisfy that same CASA Employee as to some additional wording in our commercial contracts. If he was satisfied, I may be permitted to have the CASA imposed trading restrictions lifted, and potentially return to Business as Usual.

After 8 months despite every best endeavour by me to satisfy the CASA Employee, for reasons that I cannot explain,he could not be satisfied, and CASA met with all customers and directed that they leave the business, and this included my own flying school, Melbourne Flight Training, on the basis that all personnel operating under an AOC must also be employed direct;ly by the same Company that holds the AOC.

To quote Craig Martin's correspondence as late as 20th June 2019, Mr Martin in his very senior role within CASA as the Acting Executive Manager of Regulatory Services and Surveillance, and the person representing Mr Aleck, wrote advising "for the avoidance of doubt...... flight training can be conducted by APTA employees only- not employees of affiliates.

That unalwful determination was effectively the "death knell" as CASA imposed new terminology referred to as "Direct Operational Control" where the one Company that held the AOC must also employ all personnel directly, maintain all bank accounts, social networking, admin etc.

CASA has never placed that requirement on any Operator in Australia. Ever.

I need to ensure that I make these points clearly, and that you can correct me at the meeting if my understanding is incorrect.

The changes that CASA required of me could have been attended to instantly. I had been operating in that structure for a decade with full CASA approval, as many of Australia's flight training organisations were, and my CASA approved Exposition and oversight tool Flight School Manager (FSM) met and exceeded every regulatory requirement. There were never any identified deficiencies at all.

It was never a quality control issue, and it was never a legislative issue,it was an issue that CASA effectively created. A new and unique requirement that is not remotely aligned with any legislation at all.

A requirement that personnel operating under an AOC must also be employees of that same Company in order to maintain operational control. If those personnel were emplyed by another entity different procedures of operational control were required.

Until this new determination, all personnel operating under an AOC, irrespective of who emplys them are subjexct to the same high levels of operational contriol

The only limitation on preventing me returning to Business as Usual was that I needed to place new wording in contracts that reflected exactly what I was already doing. There was no requirement by CASA to change any system, policy, or procedure. All legislated responsibilities accountabilities were already attended to in the CASA approved Exposition, where they should be. I had been operating this structure for a decade, so it would be reasonable to assume that I am experienced with that business structure, and that if it has satisfied CASA for the previous decade, should have some surety of operations with that structure, provided I do not alter it, which I did not.

The important point being that if any deficiencies were ever identified, CASA would have brought them to my attention. Absolutely no deficiencies of any kind have ever been put forward by CASA.

The stumbling block for 8 months is that I could not satisfy Mr Aleck. At any stage throughout the 8 months, he could have instantly resolved the matter in its entirety by giving me sufficient guidance, as to whose responsibilities and what responsibilities he needed in the contracts.

In the "contract" CASA were requiring me to incorporate responsibilities that are not legislated and CASA was unable to identify, for personnel who CASA were never able to specify to me, and who are not legislated.

I can only reiterate, that every legislative procedure had been attended to, as it had always been through the decade that I operated in this structure, within the Exposition where such matters are attended to.

CASA were required of me, and me only that matters of Operational Control were now to be identified in "commercial contracts", a document that CASA is not a signatory to, and does not hold on file for any operators because these are commercial agreements of a sensitive business nature.

Despite the bizarre nature of this requirement I made my best endeavours to satisfy the CASA employee, but after 8 months of trying i was completely unable to satisfy the employee.

I was highly dependent on CASA for guidance as they had never placed these requirements on any other Operator, including those that had also adopted the structure that I adopted. These were new and unique requirements for people and responsibilities that were not required by legislation.CASA were asking me to effectively take responsibilities away from legislated Key Personnel, and transfer or specify those responsibilities to persons that were not specified in legislation or qualified. i.e. an aero Club committee who may or may not even hold a pilot licence, and have no experience at all in flight training.

The Ombudsman was mislead and failed to comprehend just how "unique" the requirement placed on me that CASA would require matters of operational control and safety that are not specified in any legislation that CASA cannot identify, amd responsibilities that CASA cannot identify into a commercial agreement, and NOT in the CASA Exposition

Such complicated changes to responsibilities and accountabilities required very clear direction from CASA. As soon as CASA provided that guidance, I remained ready to embed those new requirements immediately into the "commercial contracts" and return to business as usual.,within a matter of hours. To have it unresolved for 8 months can only be as a result of bad intent. There can be no other plausible explanation.

If I may refer to previous correspondence between the CASA CEO and myself. I outlined my expectations iofb that meeting which I have cut and pasted be;low. I have also cut and pasted your responses. I have made some brief italicized notes for your consideration prior to our meeting

My Expected Outcome One- Act of Grace Payment

I am of the opinion that CASA unlawfully and with targeted malice took action that closed my business and was entirely unnecessary. There were no legitimate safety concerns nor were there any regulatory breaches, and at all times I operated fully in accordance with all CASA approved procedures in my Exposition/Operations Manual.

My understanding is that CASA would not dispute that position, and that is what makes the entire situation so bizarre.

I believe that I have a valid basis for a claim against CASA. That is not my preferred option.

Throughout the last five years, I have gone further than could be reasonably expected of any person to avoid litigation. Litigation suggests to me that there is a complete breakdown of “good intent”. It is unnecessarily combative, protracted and distracts resources.

My preferred course of action is to put forward a request for an Act of Grace payment. This request would not be successful if it were opposed by CASA.

My hope is that An Act of Grace payment could be considered an Alternative Dispute Resolution, as outlined in Appendix B of the Legal Services Directions 2017, where it states

the Commonwealth and Commonwealth agencies are to behave as model litigants in the conduct of litigation.

In civil litigation matters, Model Litigant rules provide that government agencies should, wherever possible:
  • act honestly, consistently, and fairly in handling claims and litigation
  • deal with claims promptly
  • make an early assessment of the government’s prospects of success
  • pay legitimate claims promptly
  • not take advantage of a party who lacks resources to litigate a legitimate claim
  • keep costs to a minimum e.g. not rely on a merely technical defence
  • consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options.

At the end of that two-hour meeting, I would like to obtain a decision from you and the Chair of the Board, whether or not CASA will oppose that claim for an Act of Grace payment.

For simplicity of the Act of Grace Payment, it would be for the purpose of compensating/reimbursing staff, customers, students, Suppliers, the other businesses closed down by CASA actions, and others who were dependent on me.

It would not contain any claim for me personally, or for the harm and trauma caused to me. I would waive any claim to those aspects in the interests of a prompt resolution, by way of an Act of Grace Payment By rectifying the harm caused to so many, it would lift an enormous mental burden from me, and at least go some way to resolving this entire matter and allowing me to move forward with my life.

It seems entirely reasonable that if CASA simply “changes its mind” about a business after 10 years, the persons affected by that change of “interpretation” of the law, should not be impacted, just as a homeowner is reimbursed when the house is to be bulldozed for a road. It is an entirely reasonable expectation.

If the CASA Chair and CEO determine that they will oppose an Act of Grace Payment, then I can see little benefit in waiting until October to receive that information.

Could you please advise if you would be in a position to advise me at the conclusion of that meeting if CASA will oppose my request for an Act of Grace Payment?

CASA response to Expected outcome 1:

In the spirit of the apology I conveyed in my 26 May letter to you, where I acknowledged that CASA could have done things better, I can advise that we would not oppose your claim for an Act of Grace payment should the Department of Finance seek the views of CASA.

Such an application from you would result in an independent, third-party assessment which we would welcome, and we would provide any information requested to enable that assessment including the findings of the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

My note. It is the Commonwealth Ombudsman report that has been perverted by false and misleading information that CASA has provided, and I do not have trust or confidence in those findings. At our meeting I will clearly identify the false and misleading information that has been provided by CASA to the Ombudsman investigation. With that information, you will be able to make your own determinations, and determine if any corrective action needs to be initiated by either of your respective offices.

My Expected Outcome Two- Why this matter could not be fully resolved in 4 hours.

As you are aware, I am fully satisfied that this matter could have been fully resolved in four hours, yet it dragged on for over 8 months, and was still not resolved. I am fully satisfied that if CASA was acting in Good Faith this matter and its associated harm could have been completely avoided.

I would like to obtain CASAs explanation on why this matter could not be fully resolved in four hours.

There must have been some reason from CASAs perspective as to why it was not easily resolved in one meeting of less than four hours. If I could explain that to my family, the people impacted, and the wider industry, it would assist me greatly.in order to go someway to restoring my reputation I would like to be able to explain to those that were dependent on me, as to why I could not resolve this apparently simple matter to CASAs full satisfaction. It seems an entirely reasonable expectation, and I am sure you will concur.

CASA response to Expected outcome 2:

As I explained in my most recent email to you on 21 June, I don’t intend to revisit issues that you have previously raised, noting that CASA stands by the Ombudsman’s findings, as set out at expected outcome 5 below.

My note. I have sought an explanation to this for almost five years and CASA refuses to respond. The Ombudsman Office also conveniently avoided addressing this key issue, despite my frequent requests. Surely anybody can appreciate that I am entitled to a response, in fact the CASA Regulatory Philosophy compels you to respond to my reasonable request. A response to this single request would bring finality to this entire matter. There must be a reason that this matter could not be fully resolved in its entirety in a matter of hours by way of a well intentioned discussion. For it to be no closer to resolution after 8 months is inexplicable, and most especially considering the commercial and reputational harm being caused throughout that eight months.

Expected Outcome Three- The single issue was all personnel were not directly employed by me.

The most distressing part of the last five years has been that I have no idea what I did wrong. I do not know what piece of legislation was breached. I don’t know what specific mistake that I made, I have no idea which of my procedures was deficient, I have no idea of any safety concerns.

My understanding is that because I utilised personnel under my AOC that were not always also my employees, I was in breach of the regulations.That was effectively the single issue.

Had every one of those personnel operating under my AOC been directly employed by me, then CASA would never have raised any concerns at all, and my business would not ever have been contacted by CASA or had any action taken against it, as Craig Martin from CASA advised me in writing, ‘For the avoidance of doubt, flight training can be conducted by APTA Employees only, not Employees of Affiliates’

I would like to exit that meeting with a clear understanding of this requirement by CASA. It is not a requirement, and has never been a legislative requirement. This seems to be a restriction placed only on my own flying school and not on the other 300 flight training organisations in Australia.

So, my question would be. If all personnel operating under my AOC were also directly employed by me, would CASA ever have imposed the trading restrictions, and if so, could you identify the justification.

CASA response to my Expected outcome 3:

As in my comments about revisiting matters in response to your second expected outcome, CASA stands by the findings of the Commonwealth Ombudsman dated 21 February 2023:

We accept CASA’s explanation that it became concerned about the APTA operational model in 2018 as it became uncertain whether APTA’s model met legislative requirements to show sufficient control between the authorisation holder and the affiliates conducting training…. It was therefore open to CASA to take steps to be satisfied the legislative requirements were being met. We accept that CASA can and should act when it identifies an operator is working in a way that may not comply with legislative and regulatory requirements… (E)ven if CASA had previously authorised the APTA model in the knowledge that it was providing oversight of its affiliates, rather than conducting flight training in its own right, we cannot be critical that it reassessed its position when concerns arose about whether this model was in line with civil aviation legislation… (W)e remain satisfied that CASA’s concerns about the APTA operational model at the time of the Notice were not without basis and no further investigation is warranted in relation to its decision to issue the Notice.

My note. I appreciate that either of you in your role cannot be expected to be Subject Matter Experts on the legislation specifically related to the Flight training industry, and you may need to seek guidance from the decision maker Mr Aleck on this subject. This is very much related to the provision of false and misleading information. It confirms the high levels of confusion that CASA has created within the Ombudsman's Office. Consider that statement, and how ridiculous it truly is.

CASA has mislead the Ombudsman to arrive at a finding that, CASA had previously approved me to operate my business on the basis that I was just providing oversight of those facilities ( a situation that would clearly be unlawful and unsafe), and then CASA "discovered" that i was operating lawfully because I was delivering training "in its own right"'

This is akin to a police officer thinking that a motorist was speeding over a sustained period, pulling him over, and discovering that in fact he was not speeding, and fining him. As I have repeatedly stated, bizarre.

Expected Outcome Four- Allegation of misfeasance in public office against Mr Jonathan Aleck Executive Manager of Legal, International and Regulatory Affairs.

One month prior to that meeting I will provide.

· The CASA Board,

· The CASA CEO, The CASA Industry Complaints Commissioner

· My Local Labor MP for Chisholm, Ms Carina Garland

with a substantial document outlining my allegations of Misfeasance in Public office against Mr Jonathan Aleck, CASA Executive Manager of Legal, International, and Regulatory Affairs. If that document can be considered prior to that meeting, my intention would be that I formally submit that document to the CASA ICC for an internal investigation. If CASA chooses not to conduct their own internal investigation, then I will pursue alternatives. I believe that Mr Aleck would support that request. I have made significant allegations against his conduct, and I expect that he would be supportive of any investigation to refute my allegations.

CASA response to my Expected outcome 4:

I would have anticipated that any information relevant to your complaint would have been provided to the Commonwealth Ombudsman during the course of its review of your concerns. If it was not, your allegations and any material to support those allocations should be directed to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for consideration.

My note. Despite me raising allegations of misfeasance in public office against Mr Aleck before the Senate, no internal investigation was ever initiated by CASA. It is incomprehensible, and not in line with any sense of expected organisational governance. I approached the Commonwealth Ombudsman but they advised that such matters of misfeasance in public office should be directed to the CASA ICC, and CASA has directed me to the Ombudsman Office.

I do wish to proceed with the formal lodgement of that allegation at our meeting, unless you are able to clarify the correct procedure, prior to our meeting.

Expected Outcome Five

On the initial notification of 23rd October 2018, CASA placed trading restrictions on my business, based on alleged contravention of the following four rules and regulations, and these are the only four allegations that have ever been put forward to me.

· Paragraph 7 of the Aviation Ruling

· Section 27 (8) of the Civil Aviation Act

· Section 29 of the Civil Aviation Act

· CASR 141.050

I would like to get a clear and concise response from CASA, after almost five years. Is the CASA position that I did, or did I not break those regulations?

Consider a person that is charged with an offence by the police, and he has to wait five years to have his guilt or innocence determined in a court of law. If over the next five years, the Police become aware that in fact no offence had occurred then they should be prepared to admit that, rather than attempt to pursue the matter, and possibly in a corrupt manner. The point is that after 5 years of continuing investigation by the police, the reasonable expectation of the Police is that they are as confident, or more confident, of their position after 5 years.If they are confident, they should be able to confidently restate their position, at all times throughout that five-year investigation, and right up until they walk into the Courtroom.

At our meeting, I would be seeking that same commitment from CASA i.e., a yes or no response to each of those four allegations made in October 2018.

It is an entirely reasonable request as I am sure you will agree.

CASA response to my Expected outcome 5:

For the reasons set out above, CASA stands by the findings of the Commonwealth Ombudsman dated 21 February 2023:

We are satisfied that CASA adopted a collaborate approach to resolving the issues raised in (the Notice of 23 October 2018)… Records that CASA provided to us show that its officers met with Mr Buckley and his father on behalf of APTA multiple times and there was frequent email communication between the parties. CASA provided guidance on the reasons it required contracts, obtained legal advice to support its position, and provided model clauses to Mr Buckley for his use in May 2019. We acknowledge Mr Buckley’s concern about the length of time matters extended without a resolution but are satisfied that, despite the delay, CASA provided advice to Mr Buckley that the existing approvals for APTA remained in place, and he could continue operating as he had prior to the Notice. In hindsight, there may have been ways to improve the communication to ensure Mr Buckley was given a consistent message by all parties within CASA, but we note this was difficult because Mr Buckley was contacting multiple people within CASA. We further note that CASA ultimately implemented a strategy to have one contact point for him, to reduce the risk of mixed messages.

My note. The point of my expectation has been completely missed. This has nothing to do with the contract issue. The "contracts" was a way of making a structure that CASA had deemed unlawful, and returning it to a state of lawfulness. After 8 months of trying to achieve that with CASA I was unable to satisfy CASA as to the wording.


With the short time frames ahead of us, I don't necessarily expect a lengthy response other than an acknowledgement that this correspondence has been received and I do not expect you to address any of the issues I have raised here in writing , prior to our meeting.

I reiterate that I welcome any CASA attendees at that meeting that can ensure the meeting is as productive as is possible in the circumstances.

I hope that my approach to this meeting is not being interpreted as naivety but rather an approach that is well intentioned, professional, and task focussed towards resolution.

If all attendees act in a well intentioned manner this matter can be fully resolved.

Looking forward to the opportunity, respectfully, Glen Buckley

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Old 30th Sep 2023, 11:01
  #2865 (permalink)  
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Response to previous post from Pip Spence

Dear Mr Buckley

Thank you for your update on attendance at the meeting. From CASA’s perspective it will just be myself, the Chair and Jonathan Hanton.

On completion of the meeting, we will circulate to participants a document setting out the agreed outcomes but we will not be recording the meeting.

Finally, as I indicated in my emails to you of 4 August and 27 June, while I and the CASA Chair remain committed to the undertakings I gave you on 19 November 2021 and 7 January 2022 to meet with you to discuss the outcome of the Ombudsman’s independent investigation once it had been finalised, it is not our intention to revisit the matters you have raised, given these have now been reviewed by the Ombudsman.

We look forward to meeting with you and your wife on Tuesday.

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Old 30th Sep 2023, 11:57
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The meeting

I’m sure that I and many others would willingly back you and be prepared to standby and help in any way if it were possible.

For my part I would testify that CASA’s unnecessarily complex rules around flying training have destroyed hundreds of flying schools for no good reason.

My opinion, having followed the way in which you have been treated, is that you should be compensated to the fullest degree.

That the rationale of CASA that you didn’t have sufficient control is a nonsense, particularly when one considers the plethora of criminal sanction laws that control in minute detail every aspect of flying.

That whatever CASA decided after it changed its mind about your umbrella system it should have stated clearly its reasons and published same for all to see.

That CASA should take heed of the successful USA training model which obviates and gives lie to CASA’s expensive, obsessive and prescriptive flying training regime.

Wishing you well, but not hopeful of a just outcome.

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Old 1st Oct 2023, 04:36
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Sincerely wish you well Glen
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 21:47
  #2868 (permalink)  
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off to the meeting

Sitting here in Melbourne about to board the flight to Canberra. Hope to be able to update you all tomorrow. Thanks for the good wishes here and via text cheers
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 22:32
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The CASA problem

It should not be forgotten that following the loss of his flying school Glen was prevented by CASA from working as an instructor.

The means used was to threaten the prospective employer. This displays the outrageous arrogance and vindictiveness of a regulator that has had no direct Ministerial control for more than 30 years.

The problem with attempts to deal with CASA is that it believes that it’s the only bastion between aviation chaos and an irresponsible GA community who will run amuck if given the slightest leeway. Big superior boss with the big stick is ingrained, and part of the Canberra psyche. Commonsense, fairness and objectivity are not the predominant drivers. The cushy jobs and huge salaries, way above those politicians who should be in charge, have by human nature subverted the purpose of governing in the public interest. Exactly as forecast in 1988 when aviation was taken out of Departmental control and Ministerial responsibility and oversight.

The whole sorry saga is a reminder that to discard a principle, in this instance the Westminster principle of Ministerial responsibility, and substituting the arms of government with statutory (monopoly) authorities, might have long term deleterious consequences.
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 23:55
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Originally Posted by Sandy Reith
It should not be forgotten that following the loss of his flying school Glen was prevented by CASA from working as an instructor.

The means used was to threaten the prospective employer. This displays the outrageous arrogance and vindictiveness of a regulator that has had no direct Ministerial control for more than 30 years.
One of the reasons that Glens case sparked my support is this happened to me in a very similar way over a decade ago. A veiled threat of if he stays then the action will proceed, if he goes then the action goes. Personal vendettas SHOULD NOT BE tolerated in a regulatory body (by the way I left and so did the companies CASA problem).

Go get ‘em Glen! Like the current pilot shortage is real I don’t think anyone has built such a strong case against CASA.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority still the best oxymoron!

(note many times I have stated that it was the extreme small minority that are the cancer of this place, I have nothing but huge praise and thanks for the majority of the good guys and gals).

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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 21:24
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The meeting -

The Meeting 03/10/23

For those that have been following this ongoing saga for almost five years now, I was finally able to have the opportunity to meet with the CASA Chair and CEO yesterday at Aviation House in Canberra.

I was advised in the morning that the Board Chair was unwell, and he would participate via a teleconference, which he did.

Many on here had strongly encouraged me to take a lawyer to that meeting. It was sound advice, and I did heed it. I also acknowledge that I heeded it too late. I established contact with one of Australia’s leading lawyers on the relevant topics. It was a matter that he expressed enthusiasm to be involved in. He met with Partners of the firm, and as the firm does work for CASA, the decision was made that he was unable to assist me in this matter. It was too late for me to obtain another lawyer with the relevant expertise at such short notice, so my wife and I attended alone.

We were met by Ms Spences PA who took us upstairs where we met Ms Spence (CASA CEO) and Mr Hanton, the Industry Complaints Commissioner. The Chair, Air Chief Marshall (Retd) Mark Binskin AC via teleconferencing.

With the pleasantries out of the way the Chair opened the meeting.

What my wife and I received was a very sincere acknowledgement. There was an acceptance by CASA, and an apology. I was advised that my matter had been bought to the attention of both the CEO and Board Chair prior to their appointments. I was advised that there had been CASA learning outcomes as a result of my matter, and that it was a significant factor in the restructuring within CASA to ensure more consistent messaging. To me that demonstrated a commitment to “continuous improvement”, and I felt that was a positive.

Both the Chair and CEO were acting with “good intent” and I truly believe that. That is the critical factor that has been absent from the process throughout the last five years, and that was another positive.

I was about to respond when my dear, usually fairly quiet wife interjected, and asked if she could read from a prepared speech. Prior to the meeting she queried if she could say something, and of course I said yes. I thought no more of it, until she came forward at the meeting.

I got a copy of that speech last night, and here it is. My wife is not a native English Speaker, and nor is she a public speaker. She was in a situation that was well outside of her comfort zone.

There was a man who worked hard to start his business. When he started he looked after Employees and students really well, he was very caring and generous to them, always trying to help. Everyone loved him. He didn’t want to buy luxurious house and car because he didn’t want to use the money the Company made for him and his family, so he could pay employees more money. He is the person always happy to help people.

One day he was told to close his business, he had to tell his wife and family they had to sell the house to keep paying staff. He couldn’t understand why.

He was trying to find the answers, talked to people, sending emails.

He started not to be able to sleep. It affected family badly. One day his wife asked him how we can pay the piles of bills, he started to throw them, screaming, “cant pay this, cant pay this, cant pay this” His daughter was there, she had to walk away late at night and didn’t come back for many hours. She was very upset to see her own Dad struggling. His wife had to ask the oldest son who was 18 years old at that time to pay the bills.

His wife cried that night. His wife knew that the youngest son had old school shoes with holes but didn’t want to tell his Mum because he knew that his parents didn’t have any money at all.

Family was suffering so much. The man started working again outside of flying, and he changed a few jobs.

He was still fighting over his problems, he gets up at 2AM or 3AM in the morning, takes the laptop with him to the park and started typing ( my note. Its not that bad, I actually go to a 24-hour pancake Parlor and sip lattes)

He hasn’t slept more than 4 hours a night for 5 years, and his wife ha\s been working 55 hours a week during the day and doing two overnight shifts a week for years.

The man was exhausted with this issue. He was on the way home from work, he saw lots of nice houses that people own, doing their gardening, and walking dogs. It became too much the enormous loss. He stopped the car and started taking all his sleeping pills. He had enough.

Please imagine if that man was your husband, son, brother, father or friend.

All I want from this meeting is you to talk to my husband with respect and treat him like a human being.

My wife delivered that with tears rolling down her cheeks, and trembling. It was a very powerful message, and I do think it set the tone for a productive meeting.

Unfortunately, I’m running out of time, as there are cleaning products to be delivered.

I am currently awaiting correspondence from CASA. I will come back with significantly more detail tomorrow morning hopefully.

To summarise. Very frank admissions on matters of “manner” but not “lawfulness”

Importantly it was made very clear that there would be no opposition to an application for an Act of Grace payment and in fact there would be tacit support of that process.

There is much more that I would like to write, and I will tomorrow.

As a note. Despite the technology so readily available, I did not make any recording of the meeting, and I did not take any notes, so the meeting contents are very much hearsay, and therefore based on my recollection,

Back tomorrow withy more. Cheers.
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 23:08
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Glen, thank you for your update, and your wife has shown a lot of courage, an admirable expression of your joint predicament.

Sounds like there’s at least some recognition of the injustice perpetrated against you, albeit years after the event. In my book a full offer of compensation by CASA should be offered, an Act of Grace payment smacks of a condescending attitude, but this is what to expect from the Canberra cohort that might as well be living on the dark side of the moon.

As always, best regards, your tenacity is remarkable and all of GA gains from your efforts.
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Old 7th Oct 2023, 22:00
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correspondence from CASA-post meeting

As you are aware, I had my meeting with CASA and provided some initial comment on Pprune in Post # 2871.

I had intended to provide a further update the next day. For the first time in many years, I have slept in past the early hours and not had time to get down to the pancake parlor before work.

In the interim, I have received the following correspondence from CASA summarizing the meeting.

In the meeting I made it clear that i was of the opinion that the only reason that this matter had been kept afloat was because of Prune and Aunty Pru, and that i would continue to publish on those forums, and that i would publish my summary of the meeting. There was no inference that I should not do so.

Understandably, the Chair had an awareness of pprune and AP, but did not follow the forums actively, and I would not expect him to do so.

The response from the CEO suggested that she had a higher level of awareness. Whilst I do not expect that she would be an active follower, I must give credit where credit is due. Considering that she comes from a completely different Govt Dept, it does suggest at least some intent to "have her finger on the pulse" of GA.

The point being that when this letter was sent to me, I believe that the writers would have had an expectation that it would be published on these forums so here it is.

Dear Glen

Mark and I would like to thank you and Sonoko for coming to Canberra to discuss the outcome of the Ombudsman’s review.

In Mark’s opening remarks he noted that the CASA Board had supported the Ombudsman’s Investigation and accepted the findings that (i) there were no recommendations that would lead to a change of CASA’s legal decisions; however, (ii) like the 2019 ICC review, it had concluded that the manner in which CASA had gone about communicating and engaging with APTA around a significant regulatory change was unfair and not in accordance with our Regulatory Philosophy. On behalf of the Board and CASA’s Executive, Mark passed on our sincere apologies and explained that CASA has since made organisational changes to ensure better engagement with industry, and consistency and timeliness of decisions within CASA.

I said I would circulate to you a draft of the action items that came out of our discussion for your consideration. Please provide any comments you have in response by 11 October 2023.
  1. I undertook to contact ( a CASA FOI heavily involved in APTA) about his observations of the prevalence of APTA-like arrangements in the flight training sector of the industry.
  2. I said I would follow up with CASA’s Freedom of Information team on the status of your request for APTA’s June 2019 contract with Latrobe Valley.
  3. Both Mark and I stressed that if you have any direct evidence that specifically contradicts the Ombudsman’s findings, then this should be provided to it. I offered to contact the Ombudsman to request it review any such material.
  4. Mark agreed CASA would explore whether APTA’s exposition alone sufficiently set out the type of arrangements that would have allowed it to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.
  5. You set out that it was your intention to (i) seek an Act of Grace payment from the Department of Finance; and (ii) make a referral to the National Anti-Corruption Commission in relation to Jonathan Hanton’s conduct.
  6. We reiterated CASA’s support for any Act of Grace payment application you make, and I agreed to ask my Executive Officer (Aidan Bruford) to contact you to provide whatever guidance we can in navigating the Department of Finance’s process.

We will endeavour to get back to you within three weeks on the points above that relate to CASA.

At the meeting you also explained the impact that Jason McHeyzer’s email to APTA describing your ongoing employment as being untenable caused you. I understand that, through its lawyers, CASA made an offer to you in 2020 in response to a Concerns Notice it had received. While that offer has lapsed, on a without prejudice and ex gratia basis CASA is open to reconsidering compensation for damages that may have been caused by the contents of Mr McHeyzer’s email of 27 August 2019. Please let me know if that is something you would like to pursue. Any compensation would relate only to Mr McHeyzer’s 27 August 2019 email and would be wholly separate from any the Act of Grace process.

Finally, we are conscious that you incurred costs coming to meet with us in Canberra. Please provide receipts of those costs (airport transfers or parking; flights; rental car) and CASA will arrange that these be reimbursed.



Last edited by glenb; 8th Oct 2023 at 09:26.
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Old 7th Oct 2023, 23:21
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CAsA thuggery is/has not been limited to McHeyzer, it runs deep.

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Old 7th Oct 2023, 23:43
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I concur. Poop and co can sweet talk in the office, but actions speak louder than words.
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 00:57
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In my humble non legalese opinion you have CASA on the ropes, if not a KO you have them lined up for a TKO.

No doubt you are seeking legal advice on how to calculate your request for an act of grace payment.

DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT. Do not feel good about it only to then a week later have regrets. Yes a court battle would be a huge toll on you and your family but I’m pretty sure after reading Pips response that the gofundme will light up brighter than Vegas if you elected to go this way.

Yes I’m living vicariously through you as a few individuals treated me like shite but I didn’t have the experience back then to realise. What they got away with was just wrong.

You Glen are commendable!
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 01:31
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Finally, we are conscious that you incurred costs coming to meet with us in Canberra. Please provide receipts of those costs (airport transfers or parking; flights; rental car) and CASA will arrange that these be reimbursed.
Did you fly business (via Perth) and get a limo to the airport??

Can you buy passes into the Chairman's Lounge??
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 02:15
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Hmmm, it seems to me that CASA has Glen lined up for a TKO, not the other way around. Of course CASA is prepared to "support" someone else writing a cheque to Glen. Trouble is, the Finance Minister generally doesn't write act of grace payment cheques to people for things done to them by corporate entities separate from the Commonwealth, like CASA.

CASA should be writing the cheque and has the capacity to do so. Reimbursing Glen's costs incurred in attending the meeting is 'the right thing to do' rather than a legal obligation in the circumstances. That smells to me very, very much like an 'act of grace' payment by CASA. Either CASA is allowed to make those kinds of voluntary payments or it isn't. The qantum is irrelevant to the principle.

That said, I would be ecstatic to be proved wrong by the Finance Minister writing a cheque for a few million to Glen.
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Old 8th Oct 2023, 08:48
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Additionally, an act of grace payment is unlikely to be appropriate if your request relates to the actions or policies of a corporate Commonwealth entity


CASA is Australia's aviation safety regulator and is a Corporate Commonwealth Entity


I googled “is casa a corporate Commonwealth entity” and “Commonwealth Act of Grace Payment”

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Old 8th Oct 2023, 10:56
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Quoted from the link to the Dept of Finance Act of Grace payments page LAME 2 posted:

“If a request relates to the actions of a state or territory government department, or a private organisation (i.e. does not relate to the acts or policies of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity), an act of grace payment is unlikely to be appropriate. You should contact the relevant organisation to discuss the options available to you.

Additionally, an act of grace payment is unlikely to be appropriate if your request relates to the actions or policies of a corporate Commonwealth entity or Commonwealth company. You should ensure you have discussed your concerns with the relevant Commonwealth agency before making a request.”

So really the payment is unlikely to be appropriate if it DOESN’T relate to the acts or policies of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity, nor is unlikely to be appropriate if it DOES relate to the acts or policies of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity. Is it just me or does the legalese say - in short, it is unlikely to be appropriate at all?
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