Things that go bump in the night,


Camden Airport has been identified by the government as a site with potentially elevated levels of toxins suspected of being linked to numerous cancer cases in Australia and overseas.

Link below to the Camden Advertiser;

Quote:Camden airport linked to cancer toxin
  • Carrie Fellner, Patrick Begley & Kayla Osborne

Local News

[Image: r0_0_2464_1648_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg][img=565x0][/img]
 Camden Airport has been identified by the government as a site with potentially elevated levels of toxins. Picture: Robert Pearce

Camden Airport has been identified by the government as a site with potentially elevated levels of toxins suspected of being linked to numerous cancer cases in Australia and overseas.

A Fairfax Media investigation revealed the airport site is among 10 in Sydney, 25 in NSW and 90 across the nation that authorities are investigating for elevated levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS).

At all but a handful of the sites, most residents have been continuing with everyday life, oblivious to the toxic threat that lurks nearby.

The chemicals pose a threat in Australia today, mainly because of their former use in a fire retardant used by the military, commercial airports, fire brigades and heavy industry for decades.

In many cases the run-off was flushed directly into the environment following training exercises, polluting the land, food chain and aquifers supplying drinking water.

The Fairfax Media investigation revealed at least 21 children at a high school in the US have battled cancer through their school years while growing up in a city whose water supply was contaminated with  PFASs.

Fairfax Media has previously revealed 50 cancer cases over a 15 year period near the Williamtown air base, an area that has also been contamined with PFAS chemicals from firefighting foam.

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) was notified by the Commonwealth Department of Instructure and Regional Development and Cities that it was investigating Camden Airport for historic use of PFAS during fire training activities.  

“The EPA is awaiting the results of the Commonwealth’s investigation, and has asked them for an update,” an EPA spokeswoman told The Advertiser.

“The EPA will inform the community about the results of the investigation when received from the [government].”

An Airservices Australia spokesman said it was not investigating any contamination threats at Camden Airport.

“Airservices Australia has not provided an aviation rescue fire fighting service at Camden Airport since our establishment in 1995,” he said.

“It is important to note that the Commonwealth Government’s independent expert health panel for PFAS released a report in early May 2018 which reinforced the advice that there is no conclusive evidence that PFAS causes any specific illnesses, including cancer, in humans.”

However the EPA spokeswoman said while the government panel had concluded no current evidence suggested an increase in overall health risk related to PFAS exposure, it also said health effects could not be ruled out.
“Therefore NSW Government agencies are taking a precautionary approach to PFAS,” she said.

“Exposure to PFAS is most common through consumption of water or food, where water containing PFAS has been used. Detailed investigations take place at each site to determine any ways a local community may have come into contact with PFAS.”

[Image: r0_0_2049_1224_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg]

 Sources: EPA NSW, NSW Fire and Rescue, Country Fire Authority Victoria, Department of Defence, Air Services Australia, Tasmanian Fire Service, ACT Emergency Services Agency and Fairfax Media.

Seven military bases across NSW are being investigated, including the Holsworthy Army Barracks.

PFAS have been detected on and off the barracks, on Macarthur Drive at Holsworthy, but the Department of Defence claims exposure pathways are limited as ground and surface water use appears to be minimal in the area. 

In 2009, a global agreement was reached to ban one of the chemicals, PFOS, by listing it on the United Nation’s Stockholm Convention.

In the years since, Australia is one of the only countries that has not ratified the decision, which would cost an estimated $39 million. At least 171 countries have agreed to the phase-out, including the UK, Germany and China.

Meanwhile, the federal government is defending multiple class actions from towns across Australia where contamination has occurred.

The Department of Health maintains there is no consistent evidence the toxins cause “important” health effects, in contrast to the US EPA, which has concluded they are a human health hazard that - at high enough levels - can cause immune dysfunction, hormonal interference and certain types of cancer in humans.

The assistant environment minister Melissa Price has responsibility for the issue and was not available for comment on Sunday.

Man-made PFAS chemicals were a lucrative discovery for industry due to their unusual properties: they have been described as “virtually indestructible” in the environment and repel grease, oil and water.

They were manufactured by Fortune 500 company 3M for half-a-century, with the two best known of the family called perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

PFOS was the key ingredient in 3M’s popular fabric protector Scotchguard, and was used widely in firefighting foams, food packaging and metal plating. The company also manufactured vast quantities of PFOA for sale to Dupont to produce Teflon cookware.

By the time 3M made the surprise announcement it would be voluntarily exiting the PFAS business in 2000, PFOS had contaminated the blood of more than 95 per cent of the human population along with wildlife in remote corners of the globe.

Due to their long biological half-life, the chemicals take years to exit the body, but average levels in the blood of Australians plummeted about 56 per cent in the decade following the phase-out announcement.

No wonder that spineless, weak, testosterone deficient Bus Driver and Board Chairman Sir Angus Houstoblame bailed the sinking ASA ship. It makes you wonder how long it is until the pathetic government changes the laws to make sure those affected don’t get any compensation.

Tick Tock goes the litigation clock

Cyclone Chester comes to his own electorate -  Undecided

While on the rapidly growing disaster of PFAS contamination - coming to an airport near you - I note that Cyclone 7D 'passion fingers' Chester, is now presiding over the Federal government endorsed PFAS disaster in his very own electorate -  Confused   

Via the Age:

Quote:Toxic fears: Farmers warned not to eat the beef they sell

By Debbie Cuthbertson
22 June 2018 — 10:45pm

Farmers near Esso's Longford gas plant and the East Sale RAAF Base in Gippsland have been warned not to eat meat, offal or dairy from their own livestock due to contamination by toxic chemicals but there are no restrictions on them selling such products.

Elevated levels of PFAS — per- and poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals historically used in firefighting foam — have been detected in 45 cattle and 45 sheep on three properties near Esso Longford, Victoria's chief veterinary officer Dr Charles Milne has confirmed to The Age.

[Image: 2230123_1529651559772.png]

Another cattle herd near the RAAF Base was also tested recently for PFAS but the results were not yet in, Dr Milne said.

The two sites are among about 90 locations around Australia where PFAS has been detected. At least 16 of those sites are in Victoria, The Age revealed this week.

The Country Fire Authority's Fiskville training academy west of Melbourne, shut down after a series of complaints about the incidence of cancer among some of its former staff, is so far the single biggest case of PFAS exposure in Victoria. Some livestock near Fiskville has been tested for PFAS too.

But Gippsland in the state's east has more confirmed sites where PFAS has been detected than any other region in the state.

Gippsland is renowned for its dairy, beef and fisheries, as well as natural attractions including unspoilt beaches and wetland areas of international significance.

[Image: 3e52074db19a2af9168969e9bb373d0e78b5d170]
A cow in Heart Morass wetlands.
Photo: Joe Armao

However, its rich resources including coal and gas reserves mean it has for many years attracted some of the heaviest industry in Victoria.

PFAS has spread beyond the boundaries of both RAAF East Sale and Esso Longford, and has been detected on nearby properties as well as popular nearby hunting and fishing spots.

It has been measured in levels above Australian government guidelines in some groundwater, surface water, soils and sediment near both the Esso and RAAF sites, including at adjacent properties, in water sources that could be used for livestock.

Esso has fenced off some seven dams on properties near its Longford plant to stop livestock from drinking PFAS-contaminated water. Current government guidelines do not specify acceptable levels of PFAS for irrigation or livestock watering.

Such is the concern among nearby residents and farmers that some are considering a class action and have made plans to meet in the next few weeks to decide how to proceed. Many are, however, reluctant to speak publicly due to the effect that PFAS contamination could have on their livelihoods.

The potential risks to humans of consuming livestock exposed to PFAS depend on the likelihood of people eating sufficient quantities, Dr Milne said.

"If a beef animal goes into an abattoir, it will be sold to wherever and people use small parts of the animal," he said. "But if it is home-killed, then the family’s going to eat the whole animal."

There are no regulations in Australia for maximum recommended levels of PFAS in food for human consumption, according to Dr Milne, nor are there any overseas.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) says there is no "consistent evidence that these chemicals cause any adverse health effects in humans, including people highly exposed occupationally".

SAFEMEAT, the Australian body that oversees systems to ensure the delivery of safe and hygienic meat products to the marketplace, formed a PFAS working group and is maintaining a "watching brief" on contamination associated with the use of firefighting chemicals, it said in its 2016/17 annual report.

Ask about PFAS and its health effects and the chorus from state and Commonwealth governments and agencies is that there is no current evidence that PFAS exposure has a substantial impact on people's health.

However, as Fairfax Media's investigation has shown, numerous people around Australia and in the US have expressed serious fears about the health effects of PFAS exposure.

Some cattle farmers near the Oakey and Williamtown bases in Queensland and NSW have previously expressed fears they could be selling contaminated meat due to PFAS exposure.

[Image: edf41de63f932f43e2c39a853c1ed6873caa2649]
Birds at the Heart Morass wetlands in Gippsland. The EPA has issued warnings about consumption of ducks and fish caught in the area.
Photo: Joe Armao

This week a long-delayed US Department of Health report was released, showing that PFAS chemicals found in public water supplies around America are threatening human health at concentrations seven to 10 times lower than previously realised.

New York's Attorney-General has since launched legal action against five manufacturers of PFAS chemicals including 3M.

In the very state where 3M (formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing) was founded, Fairfax Media revealed the deaths of five young people from cancer and a further 16 cancer survivors who attended Tartan Senior High School in Oakdale since 2002. All were diagnosed during their primary, middle or high school years, or within 10 years of graduating.

An Interim Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment investigation into PFAS at RAAF Base East Sale, conducted by environmental consulting firm Senversa for the Defence department and released in December, found elevated risks of exposure to PFAS through a variety of avenues, including livestock on or in the vicinity of the base.

It lists "home consumption of meat, offal and milk raised on-site" and "public consumption of meat, offal and milk raised on-site" among those risks.

It also lists home consumption of duck meat and liver from birds hunted at the Heart Morass wetlands, even at low rates such as once a month, and of fish caught from the wetlands, among elevated risks of PFAS exposure.

In response to questions from The Age, a Defence spokeswoman said there had been "no precautionary advice issued by state authorities relating to the consumption of meat, offal and milk from livestock within the investigation area".

The spokeswoman said the final report is currently being prepared and will include further analysis of on-base livestock and will be released in 2018.

Other potential sources of PFAS identified in a Defence department study include West Sale Airport and industrial sites around Morwell, west of Sale, including former coal mines and coal fired power stations, where the firefighting foams were used, as well as Gippsland Water's Dutson Downs water treatment plant.

Dr Milne said Agriculture Victoria had tested livestock in "a number of sites" across Victoria for PFAS, mainly concentrated on areas where firefighting foam had been used.

In Gippsland its testing had concentrated on areas surrounding the East Sale and Longford plants.

"We’re aware of four properties in Gippsland where cattle and sheep have been blood tested," Dr Milne said.

"Three of those are cattle and sheep grazed in the vicinity of the Esso Longford plant. On those three farms a total of 45 cattle and 45 sheep have been tested. In those animals, measurable levels of PFAs were detected in the serum.

"We’re also aware of another herd of cattle, a fourth, just cattle, that have been blood sampled for PFAS. But we’re not aware of the results. The Department of Defence is leading that investigation."

Agriculture Victoria had purchased some of the PFAS-affected livestock in Gippsland to conduct its own longitudinal study on them, Dr Milne said, as there was little research in Australia or internationally about how long the chemicals linger in cattle, sheep and pigs.

Its initial tests on sheep showed PFAS levels dropped significantly within several weeks of them being moved to clear pasture, he said. He suspected that would take longer in cattle and pigs.

The EPA said it had only issued alerts in relation to hunting and fishing, not livestock.

"The only public health advice Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has provided to date, both publicly and to residents, is the advisory around eels, fish and ducks caught at Heart and Dowd Morass," a spokesman said.

Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the EPA was working to identify and manage PFAS contamination sites across Victoria, "to protect the community and prevent any harms posed by this substance".

"Our government is also working with the Commonwealth and other states to develop a united response to PFAS contamination sites across the country,” Ms D'Ambrosio said.

With Carrie Fellner

MTF...P2  Cool

Passing strange P2 that Bankstown Airport is completely absent from any of the PFAS affected airport lists.

In fact you never hear anything about Bankstown contamination at all, and any inquiry to any of the government
environmental protection agencies is met with an unusually robust "Nothing to see here" attitude.

Yet of all the airport sites, especially one so close to the Georges river, one would imagine a very robust agency scrutiny
of contamination, given Bankstown's history from world war two days.

Consider the proven dumping of considerable amounts of live ammunition all over the airport at the end of the war.There are photographs in the national archives of rows and rows of fighter aircraft being decommissioned, their ammunition buried in long trenches.

There is also mention of large quantities of bunker oil being sprayed all over to suppress dust, there had been a drought which had diminished the grass cover on the all over field the airport had been in those days which was damaging fighter engines.

Then, after the war, Bankstown became a convenient location to dump "Night Soil" from the surrounding area, as a modern sewage system had not yet been built.

After the war right up to the seventies old Tug Wilson and his band of merry Fire'ies hosed foam all over the place as they practiced their fire fighting skills.

Lately the new Airport leasee decided that there was money to be made by developing the Southern side of the airport.
Inconveniently the Southern side was a flood plane off the Georges river and had the only north/south runway in the Sydney basin running across it, a life saver when those "Southerly Busters" rolled up the coast, to retrieve training aircraft caught in the training area with very inexperienced students on board.
So contrary to their lease, which stated the airport must be maintained in its original condition and with no consideration of the "safety" implications and after writing their own environmental impact statement (on a Federal Government letter head) they closed the North/South runway and dumped large quantities of asbestos contaminated fill on the floodplain.

All of that "stuff" is quietly leaching into the Georges river.

Yet we hear not a word, not a peep and any attempt to garner information or get any Government agency to conduct a meaningful investigation is met with a stonewall silence and uncooperative attitude.

There has been mention of late in the press about property developers making large "donations" to political parties, forbidden in NSW as it has lead too many times to corrupt practices, yet freely accepted by Federal politicians.

A billionaire Property developer had their sights set on building a DFO on the flood plane at Bankstown Airport, a developer known for being a strong supporter of political parties.

Given the fact that Bankstown has become invisible in the contamination stakes, that the Airports Act has been quite clearly been circumvented, that the head lease for the airport has quite clearly been circumvented, would a reasonable person strongly suspect that some form of skullduggery has been going on, all perfectly legal I suppose.

You cant beat the big end of town.

I’ll bet the Gippsland farmers and ecologists are dancing in the streets and throwing their hat’s into the air with jubilant delight knowing that Darren 7D is their local man and he will get things done; in a timely manner. He did it for aviation and he’s doing a sterling job with the DVA – betc’cha he has this PFOS thing done and dusted by the time the tea lady wheels in the trolley. Lucky old Gippsland eh?

Thorny - What and where is this Bankstown 'aerodrome' thing? Never heard of it........I've heard there is a big block of of low cost home units and a shopping mall; artfully decorated with colourfull ducks which glow in the dark - can you confirm?

[Image: 42f44f9fee7ae18091ce031a06489ab4.jpg]

Particularly Flaming ‘Orrible Stuff for all.

Quack, quack, quack......FDS.


The other other wonderful thing about ‘what lies beneath Banskstown airport’ is that in regard to the airport ‘flood zone’ you speak about, when it does flood, some of that toxic mess etches into the Georges River and then into the nearby houses that have gone under water. This has occurred on numerous occasions. Yet once again, no Government agency seems to be too concerned about that. Funny that. I’m sure there is a logical reason for the silence and I’m certain there has been no murky funny business gone on because as we all know, the successive governments have been transparent, an open book, honest and compliant. The mere thought of a coverup would have our honorable ones distressed and shocked.

The PFAS/PFOS/PFOA contamination issue pertaining to airports, waterways and land is going to be a multi billion dollar problem, probably more, and it is going to extend over a period of decades and beyond. Be assured that the Government will do everything known to man to ensure it is in no way liable and no compensation is granted. Hell, don’t be surprised if PFOS is added to the ‘safe food index’ and they encourage us to sprinkle it on our cereal....just sayin.

Oh well, I guess nothing will happen until a politicians grandchildren start glowing fluorescent green or are born with three heads and eight sets of genitals.

TICK TOCK goes the cancer cluster clock


Tick tock PM, DPM, Jason Half’inch and all the other bottom dwelling bureaucratic slime running this country into the ground.
From yet another article relating to the unfolding PFOS nightmare;


“PFAS has been detected in the influent – the untreated waste pumped into the plants – at council sewage works. While the levels detected have not been deemed dangerous, the discovery confirms this stuff is working its way through the human food chain”. And;

“This is disturbing because PFAS have been banned in 171 countries but not in Australia”.

And there is the rub. As usual, Australia thinks there is no problem while the rest of the world acknowledges the problem. No problem equals no mitigation or compensation strategy equals no dent in the Governments pot of money. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Turdball announces another lazy $7 billion to be spent, this time on drones to keep an eye on China! Earth to Malcolm, you imbecile you invited a Chinese spy ship to Perth during the MH 370 debacle plus you leased out a chunk of Darwin’s maritime harbour to the Chinese you dumbass.

Somebody please tip PFOS into Canberra’s water system, pump it directly to Parlousment House and force these wankers to drink a litre per day!

Tick tock

No way GD. That stuff would probably spark ‘em all up, get ‘em going and they could then come up with all manner of time and money wasting schemes to avoid the BIG (murky) problems associated with airports, developers and contamination of the local people's drinking water and never: ever, eat another steak again. Now, consider that even Canberra folk occasionally drink H2O and have not only an aerodrome – but a military one. Chances are the whole shooting match could disappear in a cloud of glowing, green stuff.

Ayup; there’s a happy thought – keep ‘em coming Sweetheart, we’re celebrating Darren D7’s return to stardom.



Another interesting PFOS article which pretty much answers what we all thought - there is a cover up at the high west level.
Link below from the Simply Marvellous Horsepooh;

Some disturbing comments from the article as follows;

“As a leading international authority on toxic chemicals, Professor John P. Giesy is in the top percentile of active authors in the world”.

“Professor Giesy was credited with being the first scientist to discover toxic per- and poly-fluoroalkyl [PFAS] chemicals in the environment, and with helping to persuade chemical giant 3M Company to abandon their manufacture”.

“Professor Giesy was accused of covertly doing 3M’s bidding in a widespread international campaign to suppress academic research on the dangers of PFAS”.

“Experts have branded the strategies nearly identical to those used historically by the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries”.

“The Department of Health maintains there is “no consistent evidence” that the chemicals can cause “important” health effects such as cancer. In arguing this, its experts have made reference to the work of 3M scientists, who insist the chemicals are not harmful at the levels found in the blood of humans”.

So the Australian Government has backed the findings of the 3M scientists who appear to have fudged all of the facts!! Bravo bravo bravo Australian Government, you again prove to be incompetent, underhanded, deceptive and hell bent on depriving compensation to those who are deserving of it. Does this ring a familiar tune?? Karen Casey, Dom James, Clark Butson, Shane Urquhart to name just a few????

I am disgusted....tick ‘absolutely’ tock

And the PFAS timebomb keeps on ticking -  Confused

From the Senate Hansard yesterday:

Quote:Defence Facilities: Chemical Contamination
[Image: DT6.jpg][img=44x0][/img]Senator BARTLETT (Queensland) (19:55): I'd like to speak tonight about per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, most commonly known as PFAS. They are used in a variety of ways but most commonly, particularly historically, in firefighting foam. The consequences of the way PFAS has got into land and water in so many sites around Australia have been devastating for a number of communities, particularly for a number of communities in my own state of Queensland.

There are currently a range of inquiries or investigations in sites in Queensland about the historical use of PFAS, including Army Aviation Centre Oakey, west of Toowoomba, which is perhaps the most widely known; various Department of Defence sites; Airservices Australia sites; Queensland Fire and Emergency Services sites; Svensson Heights at Bundaberg; sites around Ayr; Queensland port sites; Brisbane Airport; and a Narangba facility. When I speak of Department of Defence sites, I might mention that I put a question on notice to the minister not long after I came back into this place, checking if that included the site at Shoalwater Bay, where military exercises frequently happened. The response came back that, no, it doesn't.

I spoke with somebody in Yeppoon not long ago, near that area. It's anecdotal but, nonetheless, they were someone who was in a position to know. I asked them if it was likely to have been used there at all. They said, 'No, probably not, but National Parks used it all the time for fires in Byfield National Park, which surrounds the area.' This makes the point that it isn't just a Department of Defence issue. PFAS has been widely used by a number of organisations, but it is very transferrable underground, particularly into waterways. We're looking at Brisbane Airport. As most people here would know, as they use airports a lot, Brisbane Airport is on the shores of Moreton Bay and bounded by the Brisbane River and Kedron Brook. So any leakage into waterways can have significant impact.

There have been some community consultations, it is true, but there has been no resolution. If we're talking about the community of Oakey, for example, it's now been three years. There are plenty of people, including scientists, who will say, 'We're unsure about the health impacts.' Of course, scientists need to be cautious before they can be definitive. But one thing you can be definitive about is that it is already having a very direct impact on the livelihoods, the economies, the health and the futures of a whole range of individuals in Oakey and elsewhere.

The fact is that this chemical, PFAS, has been banned in Queensland since July 2016 and is now being phased out. In early 2017 a voluntary industry survey was undertaken to determine the status of foam stocks throughout the state. Even though it was banned in 2016, we've seen recent media reports that RAAF Base Amberley in Ipswich, just west of Brisbane, has been dumping sludge full of PFAS just 30 metres from a waterway—Warrill Creek—flowing to the Bremer River near Amberley. Now we have Queensland Health warning locals not to eat fish caught in that area because they've been poisoned by PFAS-contaminated sludge dumped, pretty much, right on the banks of those waterways by the Department of Defence or people employed or contracted by the Department of Defence. Defence didn't inform the community. They informed Queensland Health, but it took a long time for the wider community to be told about this.

An article in the Brisbane Times by Toby Crockford on 15 June detailed this. Earlier this month, articles in The Australian, by Rory Callinan and Michael McKenna, talked about this contaminated mud being shifted off the Amberley air base during the period from late 2016 to mid-2017. This is after it had been banned and after it was well known that this was a potentially significant problem.

We have farmers being told—for example, near Esso's Longford gas plant and RAAF Base East Sale in Gippsland, Victoria—not to eat meat from their own properties. But they can still sell it. Try selling that. Try selling product where you tell people, 'I'm not allowed to eat it this. But here, buy it yourself.' Try selling your land. The people around Oakey and elsewhere have been suffering for three years. There's now a class action that's had to be taken to try to get a resolution. Have all your investigations, but the people are suffering now and they have been suffering for years. You cannot say that there is any doubt that they are suffering massive economic harm as a direct result of this. They should be able to be compensated, rather than continue to be drawn through more and more uncertainty and more and more inquiries.

Senate adjourned at 20:00

MTF...P2  Cool


In an interesting twist it seems the PFOS debacle is becoming somewhat very political. The NSW Environment Minister has called on PM Goldman Sachs Turdball to ban toxic firefighting foam.

Quote from the article;

“NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton has called on the Turnbull government to “urgently agree to a ban” on toxic firefighting chemicals, as she deflected criticism over her claim that the state is unable to outlaw the toxins”.

Full Simply Marvellous Horsepooh article link here;

TICK TOCK Prime Minister

TICK..TOCK goes the GA doomsday clock -  Undecided

Industry could soon be stuck up Shit creek without an OAR... Rolleyes

Via the Oz:

Quote:Overhaul airspace policy: Dick Smith

[Image: fccd6384b91fa68fd544b9b85e8674fe]ANNABEL HEPWORTH
Dick Smith says the government should overhaul a policy proposal so costs to industry are considered when allocating airspace.

Businessman and aviator Dick Smith has urged the government to overhaul a policy proposal so costs to industry are considered when allocating airspace.

In a submission on the draft Australian airspace policy statement, Mr Smith says the document “does not mention anywhere that cost should be considered”.

The draft should be changed “to make it clear that the cost implications to the industry must be considered when allocating airspace to assist in moving towards a viable aviation industry”, he writes in the submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

The draft was released last month. The department has been taking comments on the document. The existing airspace policy started in 2015, but the Airspace Act 2007 requires a review of the statement at least every three years.

In his submission, Mr Smith points to the 2007 airspace policy statement, which said the government was committed to an airspace system that “best ensures the development of our aviation industry” and that an efficient use of airspace “is a benefit to the aviation sector and the Australian economy”.

He also says that since the Office of Airspace Regulation was set up, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority “has not taken into account increased costs to the industry when allocating airspace”.

“If this continues, it will further destroy the general aviation industry and the flight training industry.”

A spokesman for CASA said that its Office of Airspace Regulation “considers all airspace change proposals on a case-by-case basis to ensure the best outcomes for the safety of air navigation”.

“When making airspace determinations the Office of Airspace Regulation takes into account a range of important factors, including costs,” the spokesman said.

“Factors considered during decision-making include safety, the efficiency of aircraft operations and equitable access to airspace for all users.”

MTF...P2  Tongue

Another REPCON from ATSB website on ATC night-shift fatigue issues.

Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201700058
Date reported 29 June 2018
Concern title Controller fatigue in Melbourne Centre during single-person night shifts
Concern summary
The concern related to Air Traffic Controllers on single-person night shift falling asleep at the console in Melbourne Centre.
Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Airspace management
Concern subject type Aviation: Air Traffic Control
Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern related to the safety of airspace in the Melbourne region due to controllers on single person night shift falling asleep at the console in the Melbourne Centre while on night shift.

This concern was raised in 2016 in REPCON AR201600052 and in response to this, Airservices conducted a review into night shift practices in the Southern Operations Centre. The reporter has advised that controllers in a single person position are continuing to operate consoles without a break during an overnight shift. They advised that on numerous occasions they have not even been offered a short break by another group. Airservices management have added additional aisle managers on nightshift, but they seem to be more concerned about their and the shift supervisor breaks than the controllers on the floor.        

The reporter suggested that there is enough scope in the roster to provide two people on night shift for most sectors, but if this not possible then an extended break (longer than 20 minutes) is required. This would mean that TIBA procedures should be enacted, but this could be done safely.      

The reporter also advised that if a sector is double-manned the controllers can choose to split the hours of the nightshift as they wish. If they elect to operate for more than 2 hours, they have to sign a form which says they are willing to do so. Yet on single person nightshifts, nobody is asked to sign a form, and it is not required, even though they operate for more than 2 hours (8 in total) often without a single break.

Reporter comment: I cannot stress enough how unsafe the procedure is. Controllers are sleeping on console every night, some have been signed off by their doctors due to fatigue.

Named party response:

Airservices Australia (Airservices) appreciates the opportunity to respond to the reported safety concern regarding fatigue levels on single person night shifts in the Melbourne Centre.

As previously reported to the ATSB, single person night shift staffing is an ongoing practice amongst a large number of groups in both Southern and Northern operations.

Following our previous correspondence to the ATSB, Airservices reviewed the practice of single person night shifts at Melbourne Centre. The review confirmed that the processes and practices for night shift rostering/staffing and fatigue management are appropriately followed in determining and monitoring the night shift staffing arrangements.


Since responding to AR201600064, Airservices has conducted a Melbourne Air Traffic Services Centre (ATSC) Night Shift Review which resulted in a number of actions entered and tracked through our Corporate Integrated Reporting and Risk Information System (CIRRIS). Southern Operations implemented additional night shift supervision in the Melbourne ATSC through the use of Shift Manager endorsed staff on 1 May 2017, in addition to that already provided by the System Supervisor. Expectations associated with the position include regular floor walking and welfare checks on staff throughout the night. Airservices confirms that the recent Post Implementation Review for night shift supervision did not highlight any instances, reported or observed, of operational controllers sleeping at the console.

As the additional night shift supervisory position is not mandated but is rather an additional level of supervision, there have been a small number of occasions (approximately 7 between 1/5 - 26/9) where the position has not been manned. In these instances, when able, additional supervision had been provided by suitably endorsed staff on a break from other operational positions.

Single staffed night shift units within the Melbourne ATSC have been moved, as part of the Adelaide TCU transition, into an aisle where there are more sectors who have greater visibility of single staffed position activity. The added benefit of being in close proximity to units with dual staffing is that those are the units who offer the short breaks to single staffed night shift units. Airservices confirms that this has assisted the coordination and management of the short break timing between the controllers. The System Supervisor, Shift Manager and Flight Data Coordinator (FDC) are single staffed positions and as such they coordinate their short break rotation so as to be available to manage the offer of short breaks to single staffed ATC units outside the times short breaks are normally offered by dual staffed units.

Airservices is trialling the use of non-operational electronic equipment, under set conditions, for single staffed night shifts to assist with fatigue management. This is a 3 month trial and current feedback on the practice is positive.

The suggestion by the reporter of using Traffic Information Broadcast by Aircraft (TIBA) to provide extended breaks for single staffed night shift units does not take into account the required service levels Airservices must uphold and the fatigue management and sleep science that informs Airservices roster design. Additionally TIBA does not allow for the monitoring of active frequencies or intervention and assistance as required by a licensed controller that the short break procedure allows for. While there are long periods of inactivity on single staffed night shift units in the Melbourne ATSC, enacting TIBA may result in aircraft requiring short notification entry (i.e. due to medical or mechanical emergency) into TIBA airspace not receiving the level of service that they require.

Work schedule design

All rosters are designed at a strategic level based on a solid understanding of fatigue and sleep science so as to provide appropriate staffing levels for the management of operations in a safe, efficient and expeditious manner whilst mitigating the operational risks associated with fatigue. We create rosters to enable an appropriate work/life balance while considering the operational requirements. Those operational requirements are assessed in relation to operational workload which includes, amongst other things, traffic levels, traffic complexity, number of operational positions used, endorsement mix, and type of operations undertaken.

The default staffing for all night shifts is a single person but this may be increased dependent on the factors above and their impact on night shift operations.

To ensure that night shift staffing remains relevant, an assessment is completed each year on the night shift staffing composition for units with multi staffed night shifts. In 2017, the Melbourne ATSC night shift staffing assessment was also conducted for single staffed night shift units and resulted in no recommended changes to night shift staffing. Ongoing monitoring of traffic levels and complexity on all units occurs throughout the year to assess and, if appropriate, manage recommended changes.

Single staffed night shift positions are assessed as having extremely low traffic volume with very low complexity and is based on known traffic patterns and actual traffic captures showing maximum and minimum numbers of aircraft in a given volume of airspace. This allows staff on single staffed night shifts to move around from the console, use non-operational electronic equipment, and manage their short break requests to take multiple coffee/toilet breaks as required when there is no traffic within or pending to enter their volume of airspace.

Those units where it has been deemed appropriate to have multiple staff on night shifts are subject to the same strategic assessment as those on single staffed night shifts but due to the complexity and/or volume of traffic it has been decided that single staffing is not an appropriate way to manage the shift. Units with multi staffed night shifts have a default in shift break pattern of a maximum of 2 hrs on position. This is due to staff not being in a position to be able to take a break away from the console in a way similar to single staffed units due to the significantly higher levels of traffic volume and complexity. Controllers may request to exceed this timeframe but are required to conduct a risk assessment in conjunction with the Shift Manager or System Supervisor who will either accept the assessment and fatigue risk or recall the additional controller to manage the rotation of breaks differently. The risk assessment for extending past 2 hours on position is designed to manage a tactical change to the strategic design of the roster. The risk assessment looks at the tactical components of a shift (traffic, ATM system, weather, complexity, fatigue etc) so as to accurately assess if an extension beyond 2 hours is appropriate. The risk is accepted by the Shift Manager or System Supervisor as it is a change away from the strategic design of the roster.

The extremely low traffic volume and minimal complexity of units with single staffed night shifts do not warrant additional staffing to manage the operations. Management of fatigue is through a number of methods including roster design, the ability to ask for and make use of a short break, the ability to move from the console, and the use of non-operational electronic equipment, reading material, puzzles etc (during the regular periods of no traffic). Workforce levels for roster groups are designed to make efficient use of staff based on traffic levels, traffic complexity, number of operational positions used, endorsement mix, and type of operations undertaken. As such increasing staffing levels to provide dual staffed night shifts would create significant efficiency issues, increase the number of night shifts worked on the group per controller, and have flow on effects in areas like proficiency and recency due to overstaffing of units.

Shared responsibly for safety

Controllers are required to attend work fit for duty to complete the entire shift in an operational capacity as part of their ATC Licensing requirements, this includes night shifts.

Staff are also required to advise if, throughout their shift, they become unfit for duty.

Airservices fosters a positive reporting culture and has specific safety requirements whereby, if any staff member observes a safety occurrence or unsafe practices i.e. loss of separation, incorrect coordination, controller falling asleep on position, or a controller presenting unfit for operational duty, must be reported through a Shift Manager, System Supervisor, Operations Rooms Manager, ATC Line Manager or entered directly into CIRRIS.

Airservices has conducted a review of the CIRRIS occurrences related to Melbourne centre staff on night shift. There were no occurrences involving ATC falling asleep during night shift recorded in CIRRIS.
Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the REPCON and provides the following comments.

CASA regulates Air Traffic Control under CASR Part 172;

CASR 172.110 requires Airservices to have sufficiently trained personnel at all times to provide Air Traffic Services in accordance with the regulations and ICAO Annex 11;
CASR Part 172 and the subordinate Manual of Standards (MOS) do not require Airservices to have a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS);
Airservices has a Safety Management System (SMS) in place which includes fatigue risk management procedures. However, this is voluntary and though referenced in the Operations Manual can be considered unregulated;
Single person night shifts are approved where an appropriate short break procedure is in place;
CASA is not aware of any safety issues with single person night shifts since the publication of the Airservices Southern Operations Night Shift Review approved in 2016; and
CASA will conduct surveillance at Melbourne Centre 23 – 26 October 2017 and will investigate these claims at that time.
ATSB comment

The ATSB received comments from the reporter to these responses and further questions were sent to Airservices.  The following is a summary of these questions:

Whilst it is understandable that Airservices would expect instances of sleeping on console to be reported, many are hesitant to do so in fear of repercussions. There has also been more than one occasion where controllers have tried to report this occurrence however have then been asked for date, time and name of the colleague who fell asleep. Many are unwilling to continue the report as they don’t want their colleague to be reprimanded for something they cannot control.

Controllers are ultimately unwilling to report:

Falling asleep at console
Incidences of not being offered a break
Unfit for duty during a shift
For fear of repercussions.

In addition to this, there has also been active discouragement from management to submit fatigue reports hence why Southern Operations has almost none to show. Many can tell of instances where they have tried to report fatigue and their ALM/SM has intimidated them enough that they feel uncomfortable doing so. If there really was no problem of fatigue, why would controllers need to use REPCON as their only option?

The short break procedure is not an acceptable means of managing fatigue. The procedure would entail us handing over a sector, with traffic, to a manager who does not hold a license and likely has no experience in the type of traffic involved on our sectors. All the while, risking our own license. I feel it is inappropriate to expect a fully licensed controller to risk their own license and hand over to a non licensed controller, just so we can go to the bathroom.

The design of rosters and the science that has been used to develop them, does not appear to be readily available to employees of Airservices. Where would an employee find such information? Where has the research come from? Is there research into how many other ANSP centres use single man nightshift?

With regards to low traffic volume and complexity, are Airservices able to confirm when volume and complexity of sectors was last assessed? Was the data collected over an extended period of time? I would argue that whilst our sectors do have low volume, there is often a constant stream of traffic throughout a nightshift and therefore little to no opportunity to actually take a break.

“Controllers may request to exceed this timeframe but are required to conduct a risk assessment in conjunction with the Shift Manager or System Supervisor who will either accept the assessment and fatigue risk or recall the additional controller to manage the rotation of breaks differently.”

The controllers on single staffed nightshifts seem to get no say in whether they work 2+ hours. The risk is accepted by the manager/supervisor yet nobody consults with the actual controller who has to work the 2+ hours. We, as controllers, are responsible for managing our own fatigue and being fit for duty but yet, Airservices takes away our ability to manage both these aspects.

How would Airservices manage a situation where a controller who is single staffing a nightshift decides mid-way through a shift that they are now no longer fit for duty? In the environment we currently work it, I doubt that this would come free of consequence for the controller.

In all of Airservices reviews, were controllers actually consulted?

When the controller is on a short break during their shift, who is responsible for the airspace – is the license of the controller on break being used to control the area?

Airservices response:

In response to your query, individuals must hold an Air Traffic Controller license and a valid Class 3 medical to provide a short break in accordance with the National ATS Administration Manual Section 1.4. They are not required to hold the endorsement for a particular sector but must have the required skills to provide a short break that is compliant with Airservices/CASA agreed procedures.

Responsibilities for the Endorsed Controller (the controller on break) are clearly defined in National ATS Administration Manual Section 1.4.

Share this pageComment
Last update 29 June 2018

It is difficult to respond sensibly to Bumaye’s post (above) without a solid working knowledge of the situation. To the layman it seems ‘passing strange’ that there is simply not a ‘floater’ on the roster – a spare body, to take over a position while the relieved operator stretches legs, gets a coffee, toddles off to the loo or even ducks out of the fire door for a forbidden smoke.

Night shift ennui is well documented, the need to keep ATCO’s alert and on the ball is self evident, there is also an OH&S element, it cannot be ‘healthy’ to be stuck in a chair for hours on end without some form of physical activity and a break from tedium (look what it did to Halfwit). No, for my two bob’s worth of ATC fees the benefits of a ‘floater’ far outweigh the cost. If the ATCO’s can see the need for a break during the shift then surely it can’t be too much to ask that management meet that need - in the name of safety..


National coalition launches for residents of country's 90 toxic sites. A nationwide coalition will be launched today to advocate on behalf of dozens of communities in Australia grappling with the devastating fallout of toxic firefighting contamination. The Coalition Against PFAS (CAP) will work to link residents in at least 90 contaminated areas across the country, with its foundation members a group of residents involved in class action lawsuits at Williamtown in New South Wales, Katherine in the Northern Territory and Oakey in Queensland.

“While the United States has declared cleaning up PFAS contamination a 'national priority' and European countries move towards stating there is no safe level of exposure, our government has sat on its hands,” Mr Clout said.

Perhaps the Group can raise this matter nationally by putting on a live event in the Miniscule McDo’nothings electorate?

Tick tock

The Iron Ring MOAS? - Alive & well.   Confused  

Reference: post #597

Quote:Today there is a Senate RRAT Legislative committee public hearing in Melbourne for the Green's 'bollocks' Air Services (destroy aviation) Amendment Bill 2018. Reference:

Quote: Wrote:About this inquiry
An inquiry into the Air Services Amendment Bill 2018.

[Image: pdf.gif]   program (5).pdf (Size: 28.98 KB / Downloads: 4)

(06-23-2018, 08:18 AM)kharon Wrote:  Second the CASA Choc Frog awards: the submission made to the cynical vote grabbing lunacy spouted by the Greens is sound, solid and most sensible. Well done CASA and the DoIT.

One could almost call the Greens part of the Greenfields Development consortium which will support any rat-bag politico who wants to kill off aviation and build the tower blocks of the next decades slums where airports once stood. This suits the Greens who would have you live by candle light and use slave labour to pedal the bike, attached the generator in the back yard to run the fridge.

Australia has managed, prospered and developed very well without the Greens; they weren’t there when the hard work was being done to achieve this prosperity – but now, like spoiled children, they seem to expect every little whim satisfied, on demand without thought or consideration for anyone else, the cost, or the future impact of their addle headed notions of vote catching in a Utopian fantasy. Rice is just a shortened version of the full name: Ms Rice Pudding for brains is the full version.

(P7 addendum) - What part of duck off do think she’ll need explaining? Happy to do it – just need to know where the confusion lays – what a waste of time, space, oxygen and a vote – particularly in the Estimates. WOFTAM – what did this little farrago cost? Over it, fair warning - I've had it with this crew..................................... 

IMO, as a perfect example - for the problem that the now combined and overwhelming (post Wagga) majority of Alphabet soups are up against - of the continued bureaucratic embuggerance of the aviation industry is the following Hansard extract, from the mentioned Melbourne public hearing into the 'bollocks' Green's initiated Airservices Amendment Bill 2018:

Quote:Senator RICE: I want to talk more broadly about how much you are actually required to control and mitigate the impacts on residents, and whether the existing legislation requires you to do that. You said that safety is your paramount concern. This legislation is actually adding community amenity and residential considerations into your legislative requirements, and there wasn't support for doing that. Dr Aleck and Mr Harfield, why do you see that as being problematic, and do you see it as being necessary?

Mr Harfield : We don't think it's necessary because we think that the definition of environment, as it currently stands in the act, covers our obligations to the community. The way it's written now is that as far as practicable the effects of aircraft operations on the environment et cetera, and we take the environment as being community impacts because of aircraft noise et cetera. We just don't think it's necessarily warranted to achieve the outcome, because we believe that's already there.

Dr Aleck : From CASA's perspective, much for the same reasons Mr Harfield suggested, we find that it's not necessary to do that, but, more problematically for us, our remit is actually narrower than Airservices'. Although we all agree this is about balancing interests—competing interests that are equally legitimate and strongly held in all quarters—we have no environmental function. We have no function that authorises us to take decisions on the basis of environmental impact. We have, quite deliberately and exclusively, a safety based function. In the process of exercising our powers in that space we're expected to take environmental considerations into account to the extent practicable—a formulation that is, I think, used in the bill as well. That means that in balancing interests there is a primary interest, an overriding interest, and the extent to which an environmental consideration is taken into account cannot weigh equally in respect of a safety matter. If legislatively that were changed, wherever that may sit, that would create a fundamental problem for what CASA's remit is all about. In the context of making legislation or engaging in the consultative processes of developing what legislation should be or what a rule should be about airspace designation there's the luxury to entertain those kinds of considerations. I think I would agree with Mr Harfield that there's probably room for improvement in that space, too, taking those considerations more broadly and more fully into account. That said, the ultimate determination, because of our functions, must be guided and directed by safety. We're not in a position to be able to balance, in an equal sense, an environmental consideration with a safety consideration, because it's not within our remit and, as I said, it was not meant to be in our remit to do that.

Senator RICE: That's from CASA's perspective. From Airservices' perspective, do you feel you are able under your current legislative remit to take noise and residents' concerns—under the heading of 'environment' that you have the power to actually be doing that? But what I hear—

Mr Harfield : The obligation is the way that you'd put it and factor those elements in in making the change. Fundamentally, once we've ensured the safety threshold is met then it's all about balancing the effects on the community with aircraft noise as well as, for example, emissions. That's one of the reasons why we try and look at more efficient flight paths to reduce fuel burn and things like that.

Dr Aleck : In balancing those considerations, which are motivated in part by an obligation as well as a goodwill attempt to get all the reasonable considerations on the table, when Airservices comes to CASA with a proposal or an expectation that airspace arrangements will be changed, our expectation and hope is that in meeting all those considerations we can grant that in a manner that is consistent with the overriding interest of safety. It's that overriding interest that may end up negating or minimizing some of those other considerations that were taken into account in their consultative process.
See the problem??  Rolleyes

MTF...P2  Cool

ASA waives charges for NFP aeromed operators -  Rolleyes

Via the Oz:

Quote:$2m gift for angels of air

[Image: 4d397e751bf88c95a776125313822a4a]ANNABEL HEPWORTH
Australia’s air traffic controller will waive more than $2m in yearly service fees for a group of aeromedical operators.

Airservices Australia delivers $2m saving for aeromedical operators

Australia’s air traffic controller will waive more than $2 million in yearly service fees for a group of aeromedical operators in a move the Royal Flying Doctor Service says will allow donor money to “stretch even further”.

Airservices Australia will announce that the fees will not be charged for the five not-for-profit operators.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael McCormack said the operators work was crucial to people who were based in rural and remote areas and said accessing their services “can mean the difference between life and death for people in remote parts of the country”.

“Aeromedical service providers operate across vast distances, harsh landscapes and in far from ideal conditions,” Mr McCormack said.

RFDS chief executive Martin Laverty said a $2m saving could fund 235 extra RFDS flights or fund 15 extra RFDS nurses.

“Donors work hard to raise money for our healthcare charity,” Mr Laverty said.

He said the plan was “great news for country people in the 90th year of the RFDS’’. The RFDS fleet includes the Hawker 800XP, the Pilatus PC-12, the King Air B350C and B200 C, and the Cessna C208. New Pilatus PC-24 jets will arrive this year for Western Australia.

Other organisations that would have the fees waived were Angel Flight, CareFlight, LifeFlight and Little Wings, which helps children with serious illnesses travel to their medical appointments.

Little Wings managing director Richelle Koller said the waiver would bring important savings for the charity.

“Obviously that means more flights for more kids making their way to the children’s hospitals,” Ms Koller said.

The NSW-based charity service recently gained a twin-engine Baron and is selling its single-engine Piper Malibu so that it can upgrade to a second twin-engine Baron. The service is based at Bankstown Airport and takes youngsters to the children’s hospitals at Westmead and Randwick, and to the John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

She said that with more than 55,000 registered charities in Australia, there were a lot of organisations doing “great work”, though that also meant it was “quite challenging” to raise funds.

The organisation relies on volunteer pilots and drivers. Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield said the organisation wanted to encourage an environment in which the aviation industry “thrives”.

“It’s why we place a critical importance on not being an economic or operational impediment to industry growth,” he said.

“Given these aeromedical operators rely on donations from ­individuals, organisations and businesses to sustain their operations, we are pleased to offer this support.”

Mr Harfield said the organisation’s “modernised” operating model had helped enable the ­announcement.

Harfwit: "...It’s why we place a critical importance on not being an economic or operational impediment to industry growth..."

Typical Harfwit trying to grab kudos for something that should have been automatically happening anyway -  Dodgy

MTF...P2  Cool


Firstly, any savings that can be gifted to our volunteer flight services is welcome news.

However, and here comes my criticism - HARFWIT and Miniscule McNo’testicles cashing in on Government philanthropy is a naseating and disgraceful sham. There are literally millions of dollars in waived landing fees c/o generous airports (of all sizes), Council donations, business donations, individual donations and airline and aviation engineering organisations who also generously contribute to the aeromedical industry.

The irony is that had the shit aviation regulatory suite and the Act been overhauled 30 years ago the aeromedical group would, on a combined basis, be millions and millions of dollars per year better off!!! How funny is that!

'The irony is that had the shit aviation regulatory suite and the Act been overhauled 30 years ago the aeromedical group would, on a combined basis, be millions and millions of dollars per year better off!!! How funny is that!

How true Gobbles, waiving Air Nav charges for charities, on the surface, has got to be a good thing. One has to remember though that these organisations already receive significant relief by way of taxation exemptions, and government financial donations. They operate as commercial enterprises, in that they bid for commercial contracts
with a huge cost advantage over their for profit competitors.

True reform of the regulations is the only way to level the playing field somewhat. I have to wonder why it is so hard to grasp that concept. If Safety is the imperative, would commercial operators relieved from the burden of red tape not have funds available for training, upgrades, fleet modernisation etc. things that actually contribute to safety.
Why is it so difficult for Australia to grasp the notion that other countries achieve better safety outcomes with regulations that substantially reduce the cost burden on their industries.
If New Zealand could do it, why is it impossible, as some would have it, that Australia cannot?
What is the point of Australian regulations if they actually prevent what they are attempting to regulate?
From energy policy to aviation policy Australia just seems to continually shoot itself in the foot.


You better start preparing that future compensation fund Electric Blue, the PFOS clock is ticking louder. PFAS levels up to 20 times higher in aviation firefighters, documents reveal. Article from Our GayBC below;

Again, no wonder the Teflon coated softcock Sir Anus Houstoblame bolted from the Board of ASA. The PFOS foam clouds are gathering.......



An update from the OOL fiasco. From the article;
“PFAS chemical contamination risk at Gold Coast Airport not explained, workers claim”.

- How long until ASA including its Board and CEO Harfwit actually accept accountability?

- How long until the Miniscule and Government accept accountability? Indeed, how long Miniscule McCormack?

Link below;

Indeed, the soft imbecile Sir Anus always knows when to bail. The slippery poke slider bailed from Defence after endless internal problems. The Teflon coating worked well. Now he has bailed from ASA just as Nonesky and PFAS issues start ramping up. Again, the weak muppet takes a golden handshake and a knighthood into the ether under the cloak of darkness!

TICK TOCK ELECTRIC BLUE and Deputy Slime Minister

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)