And the Angels wept – AP Forum version.
Tempted and tormented am I, this morning (a long, boozy BRB session last evening not helping). How do I address the Angel Flight imbroglio? Some fool even suggested that the post I put up – HERE – was suggesting a conspiracy theory – for ducks sake!.
Cambrige dictionary – “the activity of secretly planning with other people to do something bad or illegal:”
“We” at Aunt Pru ain’t ‘conspiring’; quite the reverse in fact. The ‘conspiracy’ was ‘fait acclompi’ i.e. “something that has already happened or been done and cannot be changed”: many years ago. We are now dealing with the results of that egregious collusion, enacted Donkey’s years ago. ‘We’ are trying to undo that knitting you Muppet. But enough of the sound and fury of the idiot faction.
Do I elaborate the whole affair as a ‘horse-race’; or, treat it as a farce; or even a case of the ridiculous? Tough questions. It is time to open ‘the book”; my ledger. You may bet Ale if so inclined; but do we accept Choc Frogs and Tim Tams as valid currency. So to the odds.
You will need to bet five to win two on the short odds CASA entry in the Angel Flight Stakes. That may increase as the time for a result is nowhere near at hand. The date of this event is somewhere far off – trapped in the mystique of an election bun fight. It could take as long as a twelve month to even get a parliamentary mention, let alone ‘resolution’.
Senator Glenn Sterle with the ‘mystique of aviation safety’ in a nutshell – “CASA has an incredible power over ministers. You must have some fairy dust that you sprinkle on them, because they all believe every word that you say. The minister was put under the pump and so you say, ‘Okay, minister, will do an inquiry. She’ll be right. Go and announce it.’ You have not even done the terms of reference and you are trying to tell us that it is going to be done in a couple of months. I have no faith in you…”
The CASA entry will be – “The Blood will be on your hands minister.” (Isaiah 59.3).
Simple enough statement; and a terrifying one for a ‘Wannabe’ politician. More than enough to assuage a DoNutin ministerial conscience; a great deal more. Perhaps; a dedicated, selfless, honest minister could, through a load of hard legal work actually prove that CASA had acted ‘illegally’ and contrary to their remit (unlikely). But; if one did, what would the CASA boss have to say, in answer to the question? “That’s fine Minister, overturn our changes to the licencing laws – say we were wrong – not a problem – BUT if there is another Angel Flight fatal accident or even an emergency declared – we will say but one thing”. “The government was advised of a dangerous situation; the minister overturned our rulings, against our ‘expert’ advice and the blood, ladies and gentlemen, is on his hands”.
There is no way known to man that a newly fledged minister is going to wear that – none. Can you imagine 6G McCormack facing down the CASA on those terms – be buggered if I can. So Angel Flight will die a slow death while a disinterested industry, which missed the point, watches on. The devil is in the detail – with a stroke of the pen – the democratic process is waved aside.
Angel Flight chief executive officer Marjorie Pagani slammed CASA’s planned direction, which was delivered just before Christmas and will not be subject to federal parliamentary scrutiny.
M. Pagani – Further unleashing her dismay at the potential the changes would have on what has become an essential service, conducting 4000 trips a year, Ms Pagani was critical of the way CASA had apparently circumvented the usual regulatory process, and what she said was the “invention” of a community service flight category.
I reckon some of the ‘outraged’ politicians:
Millar – “I am outraged that an unelected bureaucrat can ground the charity, Angel Flight, with a flick of a pen and no federal parliamentary scrutiny,” are in for a very rude wakening; when they discover that CASA is way beyond their reach; untouchable, a law unto themselves and beyond parliamentary control. The Senate can’t lay a glove on ‘em, try they have and failed; a couple of ministers have taken a crack at it – and failed. So who do reckon is going to get CASA to admit their collective ineptitude, own up to using the big stick for unclear reasons; admit to underhanded tactics and manipulation of parliamentary process; but most importantly to tell us Cui Bono from the cull of flying angels?
From left to right:
Richelle Koller, CEO Little Wings
Mick Frewen, CEO CareFlight
Jason Harfield, CEO Airservices Australia
Marjorie Pagani, CEO Angel Flight
The Hon Michael McCormack, Deputy PM and Minister for Infrastructure & Transport
Martin Laverty, CEO Royal Flying Doctor Service
Hon Robert Borbidge, Chairman LifeFlight
What will emerge from the Angel Flight funereal pyre; like a phoenix? I’d look slightly South of Sydney if I was a betting man. Some serious, mysterious money being gifted down there to a ‘new’ charity/ monopoly which has had an almost miraculous run of luck with ‘approvals’. Now that, boys and girls, is ‘the’ dark horse to watch in the upcoming race. They will be at ‘short odds’ for sure; just how short will depend – I’ll let you know as soon as I nut it out. But, the games afoot Watson. I will give you a clue – in the form of a question. Why; after so many almost perfect years of operation have Angel Flight been targeted – now – on so slim an accident rate?
AF is now stuck with new rulings; and, industry is left to wonder when the next Christmas Eve delivery of regulation will be slipped under the parliament door, unchallenged. But enough of other folks problems; my self inflicted malady demands peace, solitude and another cup of coffee. The stable awaits……
P2 – Lead into this week’s SBG 😛
….Slight drift here but you’ll get the picture very soon…
The following is a letter to the editor in the Can’tberra times:…
….’Sound familiar’? Oh yes much like in the CASA ‘law unto themselves’ embuggerance of Bruce Rhoades…
“And thus I clothe my naked villainy”– AP Forum version.
…; or the embuggerance of Angel Flight once parliament had risen and just before Xmas; or in the case of the Essendon DFO crash, the Hooded Canary’s ‘blame it all on the pilot’ (fraudulent) exercise to provide top-cover for CASA, the Department of Infrastructure and the big developers DFO trough model (racket) around airports…
…while negligently ignoring the very live risk to both public and employee safety everyday that the sun continues to rise over Essendon Fields Airport and the DFO complex….
Out of all the fire & brimstone rhetoric surrounding the above Angel flight articles..videos..interviews..etc..etc the most telling statement comment IMO came from Carmody Capers:
CASA chief executive Shane Carmody said they believed it was “appropriate to establish a regulatory baseline that provided clarity regarding an appropriate minimum safety standard”.
He said that would relate to licensing and medical requirements for pilots, minimum pilot experience and maintenance-related enhancements.
“People who use these flights might be surprised there is no standard requirements for private pilot licence holders,” Mr Carmody said. “We are proposing small but significant safety enhancements (because) we want to help these organisations maintain public confidence through improved safety.”
He said a public consultation period that closed yesterday had received about 160 submissions, nearly half of which came from pilots who fly community service flights.
In other words Carmody fully intends to ignore all the protestations and the normal due democratic processes…
This brings me back full circle to 3rd of January statement by Angel Flight CEO Marjorie Pagani…
..But I think the real focus is on how they are attempting to bypass proper democratic and legislative processes ( quite apart from lack of consultation with AF and industry). To take away rights or impose restrictions on licence holders, with the stroke of the CEOs pen, is dictatorial and an abuse of process…
…With a slight flip of some words and with the replacement of MDBA with CASA, it is not very hard to see the parallels. However a quick flick thru the media coverage in recent days on this damning RC report would seem to indicate already that the important Walker findings, conclusions and recommendations have already been consigned to political oblivion in the huge and expensive shelfware archives for Royal Commissions and parliamentary inquiries…
MTF I believe in this week’s SBG…P2