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-   -   Who represents GA to government in Australia? (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/526563-who-represents-ga-government-australia.html)

Horatio Leafblower 29th Oct 2013 14:11

Who represents GA to government in Australia?
I have been in GA for nearly 21 years now and the end of the world has come and gone several times.

We have had AMATS, TAAAAAAAATS, Affordable safety, unaffordable safety, operators shut down, operators allowed to operate.

Airspace reform has come and gone and come again and the circus goes round and round and round.

More serious has been the recent progress (or at least, push forward) in re-writing the CASRs.

In 1992 AOPA had a massive memebrship and would have been all over this. They would have:

1/. Reviewed the proposed changes;
2/. Digested the changes and educated the masses;
3/. Facilitated consultation;
4/. taken up the cudgel for the industry's interests; and
5/. helped the introduction of the improved, better-consulted regulations.

Now every time you raise a problem with the new regs, CASA's first line of defence is "This has all gone to consultation!"

CASA themselves have scheduled 2 whole days to teach ATOs how Part 61 works. How the hell is a small business owner (which most of us are) supposed to take out sufficient time to read, interpret, and digest 511 pages of draft legislation?

...let alone then doing the same for Parts 141 & 142.

Can anyone else remember how long we had to comment? Yes thats right 21 days. :ugh:

This is an unreasonable expectation on the part of CASA.

Parts 91 and 135 are coming and WILL have a major impact on the way we do GA in this country. Who is acting on our behalf? Who is accepting this on our behalf?

Who is reading it, digesting it and discussing the implications with industry?

As I have suggested in other threads, the ATO insurance issue could be neatly handled by a decent professional association that can be trusted to act in the interests of GA, but who would that be?

AAFI? :rolleyes:

AOPA? :suspect:

RAAA? :confused:

Shagpile 29th Oct 2013 21:29

Maybe the new motoring enthusiast party senator ?

tail wheel 29th Oct 2013 22:15

Twenty odd years ago GA was represented by the General Aviation Association (GAAA), Regional Airlines Association (RAAA) and AOPA.

I suspect GAAA no longer exists? RAAA has a web site.

Old Akro 29th Oct 2013 23:14

Strangely, the RAAA seem to be doing the best job of speaking for GA at the moment:

I'm not sure which makes me sadder; the fact that we don't have a strong assertive group representing us, or the fact that we need one to be heard by government.

A few months ago when ex PM Gillard had an emergency summit on the car industry, everyone was there. Government staffers, department heads, union leaders, industry bodies - everyone except anyone directly from the car industry.

By comparison, each year in Thailand the PM has a roundtable with the CEO's of all of the major car companies there. No staffers, no unions, no industry bodies. Just PM Yingluck in direct dialogue with leaders of industry. Which country has a vibrant, growing car industry and which has a dying one?

Why won't anyone from government get their hands dirty anymore and learn about what they are representing?

Frank Arouet 30th Oct 2013 00:25

Who represents GA to government in Australia?
PPRune I guess.:ok:

And The Senate.

Look at the Senate Inquiry thread with, (to date on a new subsequent thread), 289,762 hits, some by the media and government, with 1,639 replies.

Lawrie Cox 30th Oct 2013 00:45

Actually tail wheel you had it mostly right.
The General Aviation Association (GAA) was a widely recognised organisation and an effective voice for the industry but like all bodies it was torn apart and eventually closed down. Around that era the Metal Trades Industry Association (MTIA) represented the Aero Clubs. As an industry from the pilots side we could talk to the two bodies and get some sense about the best for the future. We often disagreed but we also agreed many things and representation to government actually occurred jointly on many fronts.
The Regional Airlines Association (RAA) was formed to look after the third level airlines and it moved away form GAA, it too had problems with the second level carriers taking them over and moving all into the domestic corporate structure.
Governments basically dealt with them directly and the organisation both lost influence and members.
On the Industrial front we had all the local chambers of 'horror' take over and run the ideology debate instead of considering the capital intensive industry that we are.
Now the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has expanded from the former airline to attempt to provide an industry voice of influence (not industrial).
All power to them for that and many operator should join up and provide strength to the unique one voice that is needed as against the plethora of one man bands that we have had in the past.
Sorry i forgot AOPA but since the great australian's involvement it has never really recovered from when Peter P was the President and it had some respect.
Lawrie Cox
Australain Federation of Air Pilots

tecman 30th Oct 2013 00:48

Old Akro, there are no doubt many reasons but the number 1 problem I see with many people in the mainstream parties is that they have never actually *done* anything. On both sides of what is laughingly called the political fence, they've been union organizers, political staffers and so on almost from the word go. Never had to be creative to turn a dollar, never had to solve a complex problem. Leads to a warped view of how the world works. Showing a bit of personal prejudice, I could mention that there may be about 2 engineers in the federal parliament, a bad state of affairs compared with some other legislatures with which I'm slightly familiar.

On organizations, it's dispiriting in the private aviation sector. I was an AOPA member for many years but it degenerated into a sand-pit for egos and in-fighting, getting so bad that it was impossible to rectify with the candidates on offer at the elections. And it's interesting that RA Aus are actually now starting to look like AOPA of a decade or so ago! While we might conclude that pilots come with a bit of pig-headedness that prevents us working together harmoniously, life experience shows you the same issues emerge in many voluntary (or part voluntary) organizations. It might be, though, that private aviators are less willing to put aside the personal and get on with the job.

I know there's an element of hand-wringing in the above and an obvious mitigation would be to get in and help out. While we help in a variety of other spheres, private aviation is a bit of a retreat for many of us from the politics of our day jobs. I freely admit, though, that too much of that view will take us to hell - and may have already done so.

Frank Arouet 30th Oct 2013 05:04

since the great australian's involvement
It subsequently went to the dogs and became an arm of CASA who are an arm of the AFAP who are perhaps, an arm of the ALP.

All nothing to do with him.

Lawrie Cox 30th Oct 2013 05:19

Frank my point was AOPA was respected before the involvement of the said individual, it effectively started its decline due to the campaign run at the time.
As for other comment i will take it tongue in cheek as CASA seem to answer to no one let alone AFAP and AFAP is proudly independent & unaligned with either the ACTU or ALP. Unlike others.
Lawrie Cox
Australian Federation of Air Pilots

Old Akro 30th Oct 2013 05:38

Frank my point was AOPA was respected before the involvement of the said individual
I first joined AOPA in 1973 or 1974. My recollection is that its been a hamster wheel of internal power tussles since then. It certainly predates the individual of which you speak by at least 2 decades.

Frank Arouet 30th Oct 2013 06:10


It is not wise to mention "that" acronym here, so I'll be brief in my support for "that great Australian" without mentioning him or it.

Despite what you assert, the rot set in when they began to accept gratuities in the form of expenses and free advertising in the early 2000 years. The folks were not amused and demonstrated their objection by refusing to renew membership. In fact it crashed from 4,000 odd shortly after the then President claimed that number at a Senate Estimates under oath.

The era you claim prior to have had some "respect" evolved historically positive until another figure at the helm, not "the great Australian", began to count affiliates memberships as heads to bolter numbers. Neither in your mentioned era or later did they ever have the claimed 8,000 members.

There was a decline when the subscriptions went up fairly dramatically, but had this not occurred the financial crash that came about in about mid 2000 would have occurred sooner. This crash came about because of mismanagement and waste during the ego trips mentioned.

There were people actively reading and answering NPRM's up until then and their input was politically ridiculed until the organization became neutered. This also may have contributed to some "disrespect" although I can think of more blunt terms.

As I said previously not in any way related to the person you want to blame.

I apologize for "baiting" you and it was tongue in cheek.

The said acronym is now 100% "compliant" and hardly represents a bold and energetic opposition to all the :mad: coming out of Canberra then or now.

Peter P would be out of his depth today and is history that would never have evolved today.

sprocket check 30th Oct 2013 11:26

So in other words HL, Xenophon be about it. Did he get re-elected?

Horatio Leafblower 31st Oct 2013 04:51

Yep he did, and with an increased primary vote too.

BUT he is not an aviation person and he has better things to do than read legislation and try to evaluate its impact on aviation business; it's simply not his job.

GA has no effective advocate in Canberra.

I would like to think RAAA is a chance but I can't afford a $4000/year membership just to feel good :(

Should we re-form the GAA? Or would it be doomed from the start to be effectively just another aero club :ugh:?

Kharon 31st Oct 2013 05:14

Alternative action?
Once upon a time in a land far away.

Andy_RR 31st Oct 2013 06:28

Call me politically naive, but I reckon GA has to make its usefulness case to people who care about the country folk and isolated communities etc. GA (and the infrastructure thereof) is one of the few resources that can make service delivery to the rural and remote areas of our country possible and - if not too strung up with regulation - economic.

There has to be a case made to the people that care, not specifically about GA, but about the continued rural and regional development more generally. Warren Mundine is one guy that springs to mind (and has the ear of the PM), but I'm sure there are many others.

GA should be promoted as a bellwether for the health of rural and regional Australia. Decline in GA must portend decline for the regions (unless the new NBN/teleportation technology takes off)

GADRIVR 31st Oct 2013 09:28


I'd put forward the proposition it would be money well spent.
Call the RAAA and come along to the AGM in December.
You never know who you'll meet!!!

tecman 31st Oct 2013 10:51

Andy, you make some good points which, in a rational world, would count for a lot. But the bush counts for little in most politicians' thinking or sphere of influence. No better example than John Anderson, a time server transport minister who did nothing much for the bush or aviation, while being Nationals leader, transport minister and deputy PM. No help to be had from the other side either, the merits of the most recent ALP incumbent (Albo) being rightly scored at about zero in these forums. The present ministry essentially parallels the Anderson situation and I wouldn't be holding my breath for innovative solutions or decisive action.

Aussie Bob 31st Oct 2013 22:09

No one will ever represent GA in Australia
Let's have a quick look at GA

Perhaps someone doing well? Nope, those doing well are doing well and think they need no representation.

Perhaps someone struggling? Nope, those struggling are cutting corners and are worried about the regulator looking too hard.

Perhaps the private owners? Nope, these guys go flying, bitch about maintenance costs and are busy doing other things to have the bucks to be an aeroplane owner.

Perhaps the students and private pilots? Nope, they lack understanding and would have no credability in an experience defined industry.

And if you chuck all four groups in one single room no consensus is ever obtained. Poor fellow is GA, unrepresented, dysfunctional and a dissapearing thing. Those with any years amongst us can be heard murmuring "we have seen the best it will ever be pass".

thorn bird 31st Oct 2013 23:17

Bob, so very, very, true. Us old farts saw the best, and what a "best" it was. So many wonderful experiences, so many fantastic people, the good, the bad and the ugly that meandered about GA putting their personal stamp in the memory book.
I got involved in a small way in the GA association not long after its inception sitting on various committees. It soon became apparent that finance was the major problem. The regulator made it almost impossible by scheduling meetings all over Australia, those were the old two airline days when an airline ticket from Sydney to Melbourne cost about six months salary. They knew full well that it would be unaffordable for most GA representatives to attend. I believe the "divide and rule" philosophy was the regulators mantra then as it is today, and as my old dad used to say "He who hold'th the money win'th the argument".
The decline in GA is not unique to Australia and we are not unique in that because of our widely dispersed populations, the tyranny of distance and lack of infrastructure we actually need a GA industry to fill in the gaps. Think of Canada.
Where we are unique is there is no recognition of this either politically nor from our regulator. Elsewhere in the world regulators have recognized there is a problem and are taking steps to attempt to remedy the situation not make it worse.
New Zealand led the way with straightforward regulatory reform which has become the envy of the world and is rapidly expanding in its adoption. Even China, an emerging GA hot spot is considering implementing NZ reg's .
Some European governments are enacting new GA rules, outside EASA, because they can see EASA is killing the industry.
The FAA is actively reviewing their regulations to see where costs can be reduced to make GA more affordable.
Here, our regulator doggedly continues to write rubbish regulations, unique in the world, which stifle any chance of a resurgence of GA.
More than a quarter of a BILLION $ and 25 years to write is in my mind corrupt, because in no sense can the new reg's be considered "Reform", in no sense can they be considered to improve "Safety" and in no sense can they be considered to "Benefit" the industry they purport to regulate.

outnabout 31st Oct 2013 23:22

Well said, Thorn Bird!! ^^^^


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