I am not certain, never having been in the position, that Truss can actually ‘do’ much more than he is doing. To be fair, Truss is surrounded by government appointed ‘experts’ to whom he is obliged to listen – for wont of better knowledge and for ‘political safety’s sake’ – his own that is. Now, when the rabble at his door are screaming invective against ‘his’ regulator and ‘his’ board, which is the ‘safest’ barricade to stand behind? Then there is the ‘advice’ provided (at great expense) which will always need to support and protect the ‘anointed’ and, once again, the minister not knowing any better will always accept the purred, honeyed words of the minions against that of the unwashed mob howling at the gate. Just the way the world works. I’ll stick my neck out a bit here; when you consider the entrenched, long standing almost unassailable ‘attitudes’ and resistance within the CASA, what Truss has managed to get done, albeit at glacial speed, is not too bad an effort – all things considered. Although the esteemed Rev. Forsyth would, quite rightly disagree.
Truss is not in the class of say Fawcett Esq. Now had Truss any native wit or genuine interest in matters aeronautical; he would have ‘appointed’ Fawcett (had he been willing) to the ‘Aviation’ portfolio; which would, IMO be the best thing for Truss and aviation. Truss would have another sturdy line of defence behind an ‘expert’ and aviation gets a man who at least knows which end of an aircraft kicks and which bites. That would have been a fine thing; Alas.
The best ‘political’ voice for industry is the Senate; it would be hard to find better advocates. The committee which took CASA and the ATSB to task and continue to do so are a stellar example of common sense, good judgement and political savvy. Champions all.
Then we have Dick; what to do with Dick? now there’s a question. IF it was my call I’d bolt him onto the Senate committee where I believe he could be an effective team member. But is Dick a team player? That Senate committee works extraordinarily well because it is a team in the true sense, a close knit ‘crew’; any risk of breaking that cohesion would be unthinkable. It is democracy at it’s very best, working just fine.
So, what would we like Dick to actually do? Lobby, speak, wherever and whenever, on behalf of GA, help make the public aware of just how big a mess the powers that be, under Truss, have got us into, how much has been wasted, how much it all cost and how a once proud Australian aviation industry has degenerated into a bad joke. He could start there.