Aviation – a' la King.

At fantastic cost:-

"As such, I claim public interest immunity over documents subject to the Orders."

APH - “In the judgment of the High Court of Australia in Sankey v. Whitlam it was held that the public interest in the administration of justice outweighed any public interest in withholding documents which belonged to a class of documents which may be protected from disclosure irrespective of their contents. The court held that such documents should be inspected by the court which should then itself determine whether the public interest rendered their non-disclosure necessary. The court held that a claim of Crown privilege has no automatic operation; it always remains the function of the court to determine upon that claim. Accordingly a class claim supported by reference to the need to encourage candour on the part of public servants in their advice to Ministers was not a tenable claim of Crown privilege.” etc..

Considering that 'the nation' meets all costs related to 'government' and governance; it seems quite reasonable that a fair percentage of 'documents' – (92% ish) should be made available to those with an 'interest' in government thinking. State secrets and such fair enough (defence etc.) but for such a mundane subject as 'aviation' which affects so many elements of everyday life, one has to wonder what must be kept away from public scrutiny.

Probably being naïve, but the one and only way to make any form of return on an airline investment is 'bums – on – seats' and frequency of service; a service which must be 'affordable'. The cost of operating a service from 'advertising' to luggage retrieval at the other end forms a good size chunk of ticket price; fees to operationally needed terminal infrastructure another. These accounts must be paid before an engine gets started. Then the 'fees' government add to the cost of service must be built into the ticket price – what ever is left over goes to the airline operator to meet the cost of running the operation and squeeze out a profit line on the balance sheet. It is a tough, expensive, risky game, not one for the feint of heart.

So much for the airline side; but what of the huge impost 'government services' to industry demands. The various 'departments' ASA, ATSB and CASA all, in one way or the other are funded by the public and their budgets are truly staggering. These costs – one way or another – all come from the public purse. That these agencies are 'autonomous' and beyond ministerial control is bad enough, but add in that they are essentially a 'for profit'  business, fully protected, without competition, sanctioned under the catch-all cry of 'safety' – and pay executive bonus to boot – well: you have to ask who's shagging whom, who paid and what is the total cost?

There are no 'national secrets' contained within any documentation related to the fantastic, government imposed costs of operating the few aircraft Australia manages to put in the air every day. I say it is very much in the public interest to open up this Pandora's box of additional cost and let the public see, exactly the extent of cost piled onto their ticket home to visit the family. Miniscule King could actually compare the Direct Operating Cost per seat to the airline; subtract that from the final ticket price , then show Joe Public the imposed mark up for providing a self serving autocracy which has no interest in anything else but bonus and being a great cut-out between incompetent ministers and the mug punters paying for it all – and then some. 

"As such, I claim public interest immunity over documents subject to the Orders."

BOLLOCKS, shameless, unmitigated BOLLOCKS...........Release the documents and shame the Devil...(Had to get that off my chest!).

Toot - toot.

Addendum: On the Red Rat it is worth reflecting on this courtesy of 4 Corners last year...  


Until recently Qantas was one of the most reputable airlines in the world. Now it’s in damage control. 

Behind all the lost luggage, delayed services and cancelled flights is a story of ruthless cost-cutting and a divisive culture, according to insiders at the company. 

Qantas blames the problems on labour shortages and COVID, and maintains safety isn’t impacted. But with pressures building up, some staff are worried Qantas’ reputation for safety is at risk. 

Four Corners spoke to dozens of former and current Qantas staff, from pilots and flight attendants to baggage handlers and ground staff, to hear the inside story of the airline’s fall from grace. 

Update: In September 2023, Qantas announced its CEO Alan Joyce would step down after a tumultuous time for the airline.

&..via the Oz:

Quote:Public servant sheds new light on Qatar Airways decision at aviation conference

A senior public servant has offered further insight into the baffling decision to deny Qatar Airways’ more flights into Australia, suggesting the two countries could not reach agreement.

Weeks of scrutiny of the decision by Transport Minister Catherine King have not yet established a clear explanation, prompting a Senate committee inquiry into bilateral air rights.

Department of Infrastructure and Transport international aviation manager Jim Wolfe urged attendees at the CAPA Centre for Aviation conference on Thursday “not to get too gloomy” about the Qatar decision.

He said international airline capacity would soon be back to 91 per cent of pre-Covid levels, and indicated his involvement in Qatar’s application to expand its bilateral air rights in Australia.

“I can say that it takes two to tango,” Mr Wolfe said. “Bilateral agreements are between two countries. We might have a view and the other country might have a view and we have to try to reach agreement and at the end of the day that doesn’t always work out. We need to be a little bit careful.”

[Image: 174b7437f330b8697130f727b88eeb89]

Brisbane Airport Corporation chief executive Gert-Jan de Graaff responded that bilateral agreements were an “antiquated system” in desperate need of an overhaul. “I think the question is ‘do we actually still need it?’. I don’t think so,” said Mr de Graaff.

“We’re in a business where airlines will decide to fly to markets where they can make money and we all benefit from more volume. That drives airfares down and drives (airport) charges down which are a very small part of the airline’s cost base.”

Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said it was “positive” that the Senate committee was investigating the Qatar Airways’ decision in the absence of a clear explanation from the ­government.

He said without those additional flights from a key competitor in the Middle East and European market, fares were unlikely to return to more “normal” levels until late 2025.

“The reality is we haven’t had any decent answers from the government about this,” he said.

“There is no doubt this decision will keep airfares higher and for the government to say that’s in the national interest then what national interest are we talking about?”

Mr Turner also expressed concern about the challenges facing Qantas after the ACCC launched legal action over the sale of tickets on already cancelled flights.

[Image: 7c468561b4a2f7314bf6c47c423521fd]

In a further blow, Qantas lost its court battle over the outsourcing of nearly 1700 jobs during the pandemic, which is likely to result in a hefty fine and compensation payout. Although he conceded he did not always see eye to eye with Qantas, which has slashed travel agents’ commissions, Mr Turner said he felt sorry for ex-CEO Alan Joyce.

“Alan did a lot of great things in his 15 years as CEO and I’m sorry that’s been overshadowed by current issues,” said Mr Turner.

“But I probably feel a bit sorrier for Vanessa Hudson who’s got to take on the challenges now.”

He said many of the challenges were the result of governments closing borders for two years.

“Airlines just don’t get up and running without operational issues. It takes time and Qantas has probably borne the brunt of that a bit unfairly,” Mr Turner said.

Asked what advice he would offer Vanessa Hudson to turn Qantas around he joked that she should take some extended leave.

“I’d take a sabbatical, for about a year,” he laughed. “It will be a tough job getting back to where the Qantas brand was in the past but I’ll be surprised if they don’t get it back in the next six to 12, to 18 months.”

Speaking of 'Government Industries',  from the Bilateral Airservices Agreements Senate inquiry yesterday, Airservices (conveniently minus the Harfwit) were 1st cab off the rank... Rolleyes :   

P2 -  Tongue

Miniscule King's office tell's Senate to 'Get Stuffed'??Dodgy     

Via the SMH:

Quote:Alan Joyce faces jail threat if he fails to appear at inquiry

Angus Thompson and Jessica Yun

Updated September 28, 2023 — 6.48pmfirst published at 3.56pm

Transport Minister Catherine King will be called to front the parliamentary inquiry into Qatar Airways’ rejected bid for more Australian flights after her office was accused of hindering her own department’s attempt to find out if she had met former Qantas chief Alan Joyce about the application.

Amid speculation over whether Qantas has an outsized influence on government, the Coalition launched the Senate inquiry earlier this month into King’s decision to block Qatar’s application to add 21 flights a week to Australia. Experts say the extra flights would have brought down airfares and added up to $1 billion a year to the Australian economy.

[Image: f340e3db9af63a01cdf0dfcea7a30b78f4163cbc]
Transport Minister Catherine King will be called to front a Senate committee over her decision to reject Qatar Airways’ bid for more Australian flights.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

Inquiry chair and opposition transport spokeswoman Bridget McKenzie said Joyce, who is overseas, would be “summonsed on touchdown” to face the Senate committee, and that he and King were among the few who could shed light on the decision after senior bureaucrats were gagged from going into detail about their advice due to a public interest immunity claim by King.

Joyce will be summoned by the committee to attend a hearing at a later date after he declined an invitation due to “personal commitments”.

“And he will be required to attend to the committee’s questions,” McKenzie said, adding that an MP had been jailed in the 1950s for refusing a summons.

“If they don’t show up, there are further steps that can be taken.”

[Image: 4e305e67ba13299c61b045a0b839744bb7b10972]
Liberal senator Simon Birmingham urged King to front up to the inquiry when called.NGHAUSEN

Liberal senator and foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham said the committee had resolved to take the rare step of asking the lower house minister to appear before the upper house committee.

“If Minister King has got nothing to hide, then she should turn up and answer questions that the department cannot,” he said.

“We’ve waited until today to make this request because we had hoped that the ordinary course of asking departments questions would yield answers. But it turns out that the department is being stonewalled itself by Minister King’s office.”

A usually placid Birmingham reacted angrily during the committee hearing when Department of Transport deputy secretary Marisa Purvis-Smith read from a text message from King’s office that the committee should contact them directly after she sought to clarify if King had met Joyce on January 23.

“If Minister King’s office is saying ‘get stuffed’ when her own department is seeking to provide information to this committee, then Minister King should front up herself, because that’s the situation we’re left with here,” he said.

King’s office said on Thursday afternoon no request to attend had been received. The minister is on leave and has claimed public interest immunity over documents, including departmental advice, relating to her decision, which bureaucrats fronting the inquiry said forbade them from going into certain details.

Virgin chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka told the inquiry on Wednesday she had spoken with King on January 20, and that King had indicated the mandate for negotiations with Qatar would be released the following week.

Hrdlicka, whose airline is a commercial partner of Qatar Airways, also told the committee King said she was expecting to meet Joyce the following Monday, and that he had conveyed he was displeased the government was entertaining Qatar’s application for extra flights.

Transport officials told the inquiry on Thursday that only Qantas and Virgin were consulted before forming their advice, which was finalised on January 4 – six months before the minister made her decision to reject it.

King consulted Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong over Qatar’s application for extra flights on January 19, with the latter seeking advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Middle East and Africa division relating to the application.

The division’s first assistant secretary, Ridwaan Jadwat, said he was unable to disclose the content of the advice provided, and “the next time that we had any interaction about this issue was when we heard on the 12th of July, that Minister King had made a decision in relation to the request by Qatar Airways”.

It has previously been reported that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wasn’t aware of the decision by this stage.

Wong has previously spoken out about the treatment of Australian women who were strip-searched at Doha Airport in October 2020. It is not known whether that was part of the advice given King’s office.

Via Hansard (ref: CBASA Senate Inquiry - Update: 29/09/23):

Quote:CHAIR: Do you need to go into camera, Ms Purvis-Smith, to give us the answer?

Ms Purvis-Smith: No, I don't. We don't have access. Any request in relation to outcomes of discussions that the minister may have had where the department was not in attendance would need to be made directly to the minister and her office.

Senator BIRMINGHAM: Ms Purvis-Smith, you were very helpful and upfront before in indicating that you had sent a message to your team to ask them to ask the minister's office.

Ms Purvis-Smith: I said I would see what I can do, and the outcome is that any request would need to be directed directly to the minister's office and to the minister.

Senator BIRMINGHAM: So that is what the minister's office has come back to your team with?

Ms Purvis-Smith: That's the advice I have received—that the request be—

Senator BIRMINGHAM: I would like the precise wording of that advice and how it was provided.

Ms Purvis-Smith: I've just received that from my team, so we don't have—

Senator BIRMINGHAM: You received it by message while you've been sitting there?

Ms Purvis-Smith: I don't have any—

Senator BIRMINGHAM: Have you received it by message while you've been sitting there? Would you like to read the message to me?

Ms Purvis-Smith: It might not be to me, sorry.

Senator BIRMINGHAM: Take your time. It's okay. I'm very happy to wait for this.

Ms Purvis-Smith: Yes, it did. I was looking at the wrong text message; my apologies.

Senator BIRMINGHAM: That's okay. We all have those challenges.

Ms Purvis-Smith: The text message I received is: 'MO view is it is not for the department to answer re the minister's diary. The question should be directed to the minister.'

Senator BIRMINGHAM: Right. Let's go back to the MO and ask them if the minister is willing to appear before the committee.

CHAIR: MO, come on down!

(From about 02:42:30)

Apparently the Miniscule is MIA (on leave) and therefore unavailable to provide evidence either directly or indirectly to the Senate Inquiry:


Minister Catherine King blocks release of Qatar documents to the Senate

September 17, 2023 - 9:22AM

Yet apparently 5 days into Miniscule DK's 2 weeks of leave she was able to take time out from her sabbatical to produce this promo vid for World Maritime Day - via Linkedin:

Quote:Australian Maritime Safety Authority
• 2d •

Today we commemorate World Maritime Day under the theme, 'MARPOL at 50 – our commitment goes on'. It signifies 50 years of setting standards for maritime pollution prevention, and the important role of MARPOL in protecting our oceans.

The Hon. Catherine King, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, highlights the importance of the MARPOL Convention in protecting the Australian and worldwide marine environment for future generations.

Australia has worked tirelessly for decades in the International Maritime Organization to improve environmental standards through MARPOL.

We actively support the IMO’s Action Plan to combat marine plastic litter from ships and contribute to developing measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in international shipping.

Together with other nations, Australia is resolutely committed to combating climate change and protecting our oceans by promoting affordable clean energy solutions and sustainable innovation.

(YouTube version produced 22/09/23)

Hmm...interesting priorities from the Miniscule?? Happy to promote an obscure, zero fanfare World Maritime Day for AMSA but it's an 'Up Yours' to accountability from the Federal Parliament (taxpayers)?? Perhaps DK's holiday is from matters aeronautical only?? -  Dodgy   

MTF...P2  Tongue

Just maybe.....

Perhaps, for the first time, in a long (long) time, a Senate committee may get the recommendations made over the line and ring in some meaningful change: maybe. In aviation circles, the history of 'inquiry' recommendations is well known. They ask questions, which are taken on notice; the answers riddled with excuses and get out of jail 'non' answers; no surprise, the recommendations are diluted and nullified. Somehow, it seems that McKenzie and Co, are going to make sure that their 'recommendations do not have the Mickey Bliss taken out of 'em. They could even be made to stick; as writ. Worth a watch, from Sky News – HERE -; the good Senator brings in some much needed fresh air.

Toot – toot....

#QatarGate 1st report released??

(10-10-2023, 05:24 AM)Kharon Wrote:  Just maybe.....

Perhaps, for the first time, in a long (long) time, a Senate committee may get the recommendations made over the line and ring in some meaningful change: maybe. In aviation circles, the history of 'inquiry' recommendations is well known. They ask questions, which are taken on notice; the answers riddled with excuses and get out of jail 'non' answers; no surprise, the recommendations are diluted and nullified. Somehow, it seems that McKenzie and Co, are going to make sure that their 'recommendations do not have the Mickey Bliss taken out of 'em. They could even be made to stick; as writ. Worth a watch, from Sky News – HERE -; the good Senator brings in some much needed fresh air.

Toot – toot....

(10-09-2023, 07:20 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  CBASA Senate Inquiry Update: 9/10/23

First via the Oz:

Quote:Discussions to be held with Qatar over flight block, says department

[Image: 98f1f0ffc1941630338bc7a652b37380?width=1280]

A federal government department has taken the first steps towards overturning the Qatar Airways’ decision, revealing they will hold discussions about the current air services agreement.

The department of infrastructure, transport, regional development, communications and the arts received a request from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) in late August to review the decision, made by Transport Minister Catherine King.

Qatar had sought an additional 28 flights a week into Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, effectively doubling its capacity into Australia but was refused without explanation.

In a response to questions from The Australian, a department spokesperson said “they had responded to the QCAA indicating we will consider their request for consultations in accordance with the current Australia-Qatar air services agreement”.

[Image: 6c357f49cc12fb127c71d40d40b57831]

“The department will be contacting the Qatar CAA shortly to arrange a mutually convenient time for these discussions,” said the spokesperson.

It’s understood such consultations did not require the sign off from the Minister.

Last week a Senate inquiry into bilateral air rights heard the department provided the paperwork for negotiations to commence with Qatar in January, but it never advanced beyond Ms King’s office.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka told the inquiry Ms King had indicated she was about to give the green light for negotiations to start when the pair met on January 20.

At the same meeting, Ms Hrdlicka said Ms King shared that then Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was not happy to hear negotiations were imminent, and wanted to meet with her.

After that meeting, the negotiation mandate was not returned to the department with public servants hearing nothing further from Ms King until they were informed on July 10 the Qatar request had been denied.

Qatar Airways’ officials confirmed no negotiations ever took place, nor were they provided with a reason for the Australian government’s refusal.

Mr Joyce has been out of the country since bringing forward his retirement from Qantas and is yet to give evidence to the inquiry.

It was clear Qantas remained strongly opposed to Qatar Airways being granted more flights, after warning the government a review of the decision would be highly abnormal.

In its submission to the Senate inquiry, Qantas said “airlines and other parties do not have ‘rights’ that can be properly appealed in this context”.

“Granting them would put Australia out of step with other jurisdictions in an environment

where reciprocity is critical,” the submission said.

“In analogous fields such as trade or taxation, there are no appeal provisions in respect of other government-to-government agreements.”

Qatar Airways’ officials told the inquiry the airline could be operating the additional services by Christmas, if Ms King’s decision was overturned.

Other evidence presented to the Senate committee suggested the doubling of Qatar Airways’ capacity into Australia could lower airfares to Europe by 7 to 10 per cent, and support hundreds of extra jobs.

A report on the inquiry was expected to be delivered on Monday October 9, but committee chair Bridget McKenzie remained hopeful of hearing from Mr Joyce and Ms King.

Senator McKenzie said while they were pleased with the results of the inquiry and five public hearings, there were “still questions to be answered”.

Next the CBASA Senate Inquiry Report: Ref - https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus...asa/Report


Recommendation 1

4.27 The committee recommends that the Australian Government immediately
review its decision not to increase capacity under Australia's bilateral air
services agreement with Qatar.

Recommendation 2

4.40 The committee recommends that when making decisions relating to bilateral
air service agreements, the Australian Government have regard to a cost
benefit analysis, consult widely with key stakeholders including the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and publish a statement
of reasons for decisions taken.

Recommendation 3

4.48 The committee recommends that the Australian Government review reform
options to strengthen competition in the domestic aviation industry,
including potential divestiture powers to remedy any misuse of market

Recommendation 4

4.51 The committee recommends that in order to reinstate monitoring of the airline
industry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the
Senate urgently pass the Competition and Consumer Amendment
(Continuing ACCC Monitoring of Domestic Airline Competition) Bill 2023.

Recommendation 5

4.54 The committee recommends that the Australian Government direct the
Australian Competition and Consumer Committee to conduct an inquiry into
potential anti-competitive behaviour in the domestic aviation market.

Recommendation 6

4.65 The committee recommends that the Australian Government develop and
implement consumer protection reforms as soon as reasonably practicable to
address significant delays, cancellations, lost baggage and devaluation of
loyalty programs.

Recommendation 7

4.71 The committee recommends that the Australian Government urgently
respond to the Review of the Sydney Airport Demand Management Scheme
x including the Mr Peter Harris AO recommendations to improve airport slot
management and strengthen the 'use it or lose it' rule.

Recommendation 8

4.76 The committee recommends that the Australian Government consider
introducing limited cabotage for foreign airlines to regional airports.

Recommendation 9

4.85 The committee recommends that the Senate adopt the following resolution:

(a) the Select Committee on Commonwealth Bilateral Air Service
Agreements, appointed by resolution of the Senate on 5 September 2023,
as amended on 7 September 2023, be reappointed on the same terms,
except as otherwise provided by this resolution, so that the committee

(i) receive evidence at a public hearing from:

(1) witnesses who were unavailable prior to the committee's original
reporting date, including Mr Alan Joyce AC;
(2) government affairs representatives from Qantas, noting that Qantas'
answers to questions on notice from senators were unsatisfactory,

(ii) report on any matters arising relevant to the committee's terms of
reference; and

(b) the committee or any subcommittee have the power to consider and
make use of the evidence and records of the select committee appointed
on 5 September 2023;
© senators who were members or participating members of the previous
select committee are appointed to the new committee; and
(d) the committee report by 29 November 2023.

Recommendation 10

4.92 The committee recommends that the Senate request the House of
Representatives to require the attendance of the Minister for Infrastructure,
Transport, Regional Development and Local Government,
the Hon Catherine King MP, before the re-established Select Committee on
Commonwealth Bilateral Air Service Agreements to provide public evidence.

MTF...P2  Tongue

Alas, poor Popinjay,we knew him well......Alas..But, why

Observe the swagger on entrance and note the 'gun' brought to a pillow fight. Popinjay came all tooled up – with a brief; yep, a lawyer. Firstly, I wonder why, then I wonder who ordered it so; and then, it all became clear when the 'brief' shut him down. Even then, alas - he felt a need to try and persist. Mate, your brief shut you down – so STFU when requested or required.

Element six on a seven card Senate draw, with six whole minutes in front of an Estimates committee. He got his name right (so far so good) and blustered his 'title'– then question two emerged. Start the video at 32:15. Watch at 33:56: enter the lawyer, quickly, with intent to stop Popinjay running off at the mouth....All over, dismissed at 34:54. A whole 164 seconds  which 'the lawyer' had the run of.

PS. Any fatal, no matter how insignificant or legally awkward deserves your very best attention to cause – and prevention of a repeat. That is why ATSB exists; BASI would have it sorted on time, under budget and provided the aviation sector with sound advice on 'how not to'. Just GO, why stay? Take your shot credibility and occasional interest in real accident investigation with you... No great loss, believe me......   

Aye, we all hope that was a Sayonara MF to Popinjay; may the heartfelt curses of the Lake Burley Griffen kangaroo bathing society go with you.

Well; seriously – this is the best we an manage on accident investigation? Boillocks.

All creatures – some great, some small...

It is only small wonder that politicians come and go; fully expected and often demanded; but, the 'public service' is so deeply entrenched and will, often does, throw the odd politician to the howling mob. Quite the correct thing to do occasionally, keeps the politicians 'sharp' - well, sharp – ish' and treading carefully. But now I wander. The DITRDC encounter with McKenzie is the topic. Not the session though, most with an IQ above that of a garden slug can see the game being played, for what it is. It is the 'actors' in this small farce which intrigue.

This is not a recommended exercise for those who take a casual interest; but to really get a good grasp on what is occurring, fortitude, patience and some libation is a 'must have' prerequisite. First run the video 'sound only' and 'listen'– twice: then watch the whole episode all the way with the sound on: then watch twice more with the sound off. (As stated – libations required and a bucket, if you have such a thing handy). But to catch the 'nuances' and faerie stories and verbal obfuscation, you really do need to pay attention. 

Any 'Bobby' worth the warrant card knows to watch faces and body language: for example, the fellah sat beside McKenzie; watch him, carefully its worth the effort, don't be distracted by Mackenzie, that, boy's and girls is a 'thinking man' a bloody quick, clear headed, fully plugged in 'thinker and watcher' an 'asset'. Interesting. Move on down the 'department' line up. Start with the hapless McClure and work down the line to the supercilious, smug, potentially lethal 'Brown' (CVD ?) _. What a crew to have at a BBQ......

'Each-Way' Betts is a study; body language and facial expressions worthy of note. Imagine that amount of 'attitude' in your office at an interview. Clearly didn't want to be there; clearly dismissive of the whole encounter; bored with it and not even acknowledging that perhaps there were some questions demanding 'honest' answers. Why? This is alleged to be a sensible, practical, 'can-do' sort of engineering type – problem solver of some repute and respect. Not from me; not after that exhibition of arrogant superiority. Or was it? Is he just allowing the dead wood, like Smith and Werner to be hoist, by McKenzie, on their own petards when no one is looking? One thing was clear – that man had no time for the hearing , little interest and would rather be anywhere else than at Estimates, let alone defending his troops against the incoming..

McKenzie has 'em by the short and curly's – just: but– can she drive the coffin nails home? That is the burning question for the aviation industry; she is, alas in opposition; shadow minister only. What is done with the answers against the behind the scenes rear end covering manoeuvres is yet to be seen. Many have tried – NON have ever made a mark that mattered.

A mark that mattered? Well, something like getting the DFO at Essendon torn down; or restoring Moorabbin and Bankstown to the aviation industry. That would be a great start; then maybe restore Air Services, get the ATSB functional and return CASA from the asylum in good working order.

Aye, its all there; the tools are available, material 'on-site' – lots of talk – but not too many nails driven home.

Toot – toot.....

CASA Annual report QON; & Miniscule promos Green Paper??

Via APH:  Hansard out, see - HERE - or PDF Version - HERE:

Quote:Senator McDONALD: At 2.15 today, the Senate Table Office included a link to the CASA annual report. The chair of the CASA board presented this to the minister and Mr Betts on 20 September. Is that correct?

Ms Spence : That sounds right, yes.

Mr Marcelja : That sounds correct, yes.

Senator McDONALD: Assistant Minister, why has it taken so long for this report to be tabled? Is it a coincidence it's the middle of estimates week?

Senator Carol Brown: I don't have that information before me, but I can certainly get it to you.

Senator McDONALD: That would be helpful because it was tabled with the minister and the department, Mr Betts, and yet it has taken a month.

Ms Spence : Again, it would probably be better placed with the department, but there would be a process that would have to be worked through from when we provide it. A briefing will be provided to the minister. There are a large number of portfolio agencies within the minister's responsibility. So I—

Senator McKE NZIE: Ms Spence, you no longer have to provide cover for any minister.

Ms Spence : I'm just—

Senator McKENZIE: Senator McDonald is absolutely correct. It is an obscene amount of time for an annual report to sit in a minister's office, and it's hard not to be cynical that it's dumped—it's tabled—in the middle of estimates. So how are we supposed to ask questions about it? It is supposed to be tabled in a timely manner so that people who are interested can ask questions.

Senator Carol Brown: As I said, I don't have that information before me, but the way you've characterised it doesn't mean it's correct.

Senator McKENZIE: It doesn't necessarily—

Senator Carol Brown: I will get the information as soon as we can.

Senator McDONALD: One of the first parts of the annual report was that CASA supported DAME training in Fiji from April to May of 2023, with funding support from DFAT, to sponsor six doctors from PNG, three from Fiji and one from Tonga to participate in the DAME training. What was the cost of that training in the Pacific?

Ms Spence : That's usually met by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as part of the broader Pacific engagement, so I'd have to take that on notice. It may actually be better directed towards the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Senator McDONALD: So there was no cost for CASA staff for contracts to conduct the training?

Ms Spence : No.

Senator McDONALD: Terrific. That is the end of my questions.

Next from Miniscule DK, via FB:

Quote:Catherine King

Our Aviation White Paper will help set a future course for innovative companies like Infinitus Aero, an Australian company leading the way in green aviation.

[Image: 395962071_875719923927934_28306482901106...e=6541233B]

[Image: 395985395_875719967261263_69024932046156...e=65412025]

And a comment in reply from Mark Newton... Rolleyes

Quote:Mark Newton

Ms King:

The material accompanying your whitepaper claims that the regulatory functions of CASA, Air Services and the ATSB are fit for purpose and doesn't contemplate changing them; It paints a wondrous future for Advanced Air Mobility even though there isn't a single example of Advanced Air Mobility anywhere in the world; And it places 100% of its environmental case on hydrogen aircraft fuel, something which is also not used anywhere in the world and won't be mainstream by 2050 even if it is.

Your whitepaper is a marketing exercise, it isn't setting a future course for anything.
... Wink

MTF...P2  Tongue

Miniscule Dicky King trainwreck interview: Skerritt the panacea for Transport Safety agencies??  Dodgy

Via Su_Spence saga thread:

(11-09-2023, 06:14 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  Miniscule Dicky King weighs in on CASA ineptitude on Broome R44 fatal??Rolleyes

Via LinkedIn... Wink :

Australian Aviation
2h •

Transport Minister Catherine King has defended CASA’s handling of the company responsible for 2020’s fatal crash of a Robinson R44 helicopter which killed a young girl.

The minister told ABC Radio in Perth this week that CASA “can’t be everywhere” in response to questions from host Nadia Mitsopoulos over whether the crash, which took the life of 12-year-old Amber Jess Millar (pictured), could have been prevented had CASA been more proactive.


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Link for the transcript of the Perth (trainwreck) ABC radio interview:  https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/c...-abc-perth

Note this was the sub-heading for that interview:


Tuesday 07 November 2023

Subjects: Crash in Daylesford, Electrifying Perth's buses, sustainable aviation fuel

Note there is no mention about CASA's failings in the Broome R44 fatal, this is despite the transcript revealing that this was the dominant interview subject matter:

Quote:NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Okay. Catherine King is with me, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Let’s stay on the issue of aviation, because you would be familiar with that chopper crash in Broome a few years ago that killed the pilot, Troy Thomas, and 13‑year‑old Amber Millar.

Now the Australian Transport Safety Bureau did a report into that crash, it described the pilot as having a risk‑taking appetite. It also found six unreported incidents and accidents involving Mr Thomas. Are you confident there are no more matters to be canvassed concerning Troy Thomas?

CATHERINE KING: Well, what I will say is that it’s really important that we have an independent Civil Aviation Safety Agency that focuses on safety, and the ATSB, whilst they did not find any findings against CASA, what I’ve asked CASA to do is to look at this incident, make sure that there is any other lessons that they would learn from that, and if there’s anything further they need to do, that they need to do so.

I’ve met over the phone with Clint and Fiona, so –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Who are 12‑year‑old Amber’s parents?

CATHERINE KING: Unimaginable, unimaginable, and I’ve got a 15‑year‑old, I think all of us can just imagine, you know, what we would feel in those circumstances, and have put them in touch with the head of CASA, Pip Spence, they’ve been talking to her and they’re in touch fairly regularly.

CASA has said publicly, obviously had the pilot survived the accident, they would have taken action against the pilot, but that unfortunately they’re not able to do, he lost his life in that incident as well. They’ve said that really clearly that’s what would have happened.

But again, it’s whether there was any further action in terms of the maintenance of this craft, whether there’s more, broader systemic things that they think they need to do. So they’re continuing to look at that, but ATSB have finished its investigation and didn’t find any direct findings against CASA, and really what ATSB will do, and they’re the investigators, will look at whether there’s any systemic failures that need further work.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Isn’t the failure here, and I appreciate ATSB has completed their report and they’ve done what was asked of them, isn’t the issue here the fact that there were another six unreported incidents and accidents? I mean this involved a chopper going into the water, one of those incidents involved somebody being injured. I mean, I guess what people are trying to understand is how can that happen, that five or six incidents go unreported.

CATHERINE KING: Well, exactly. To some extent I would say it is absolutely incumbent on everyone in aviation, if there are incidents that occur, like we all have to operate safely. It is difficult for the ATSB or for CASA to be aware of something if it’s not reported.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: But what about if CASA was more proactive, maybe they would have learnt about it, because the problem is they are reactive not proactive.

CATHERINE KING: Well, I think you could say that about all of our safety systems to some extent, but what I –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: That’s not good.

CATHERINE KING: – what I’d say with this is they can’t be everywhere. Like they just can’t, you know, we can’t have investigators everywhere, but what we can have is eyes on the industry everywhere, and that is incumbent on all of us, if we see something, report it, if we see that there’s unsafe action, or you think there is unsafe action in the industry; general aviation is a big sector, it is everywhere, in small airports, small properties, all the way across the country, it is really important that people report incidents if they think something is happening and report that to CASA so they can investigate, cause they just can’t be everywhere.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: But there’s no presence of CASA in the Kimberley. That’s been ‑  and whenever we talk about this I get ‑ and I’ve already got text messages coming in from people saying that there’s no eyes on the aviation industry in the Kimberley. Is there anyone from CASA there?

CATHERINE KING: I’d have to go back and check that, but what I would say is we are all eyes, so wherever you are, you are an eye on the industry, and so it’s important to report that to CASA. CASA, as I said, are still looking at whether there are other things they need to do. One of the things also –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Could they be more proactive?

CATHERINE KING: I think ATSB did not find that, but what I would –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: But I’m asking you.

CATHERINE KING: No, no, and what I would say is I have got at the moment John Skerritt who used to head up the Therapeutic Goods Administration, I appointed him when we were last in government, it’s a regulatory agency around the safety of medicines and products. He has now left the TGA, and he is undertaking a piece of work for me across CASA, ATSB and AMSA, which is the Australian Maritime Safety Agency, to look at a couple of things. First is sustainable funding models, so we need to make sure we’ve got enough resources so that they can do their jobs, and also to look at the regulatory environment in which they operate in.

So he’s having a look at that for me at the moment, and certainly if there’s anything further that we need to do, or if CASA identifies anything further they think we need to do, then I am up for that.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: It’s 17 past 10. I’ve got the Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Catherine King, with me. So are you aware that CASA is putting another two staff in WA, are you aware of that?

CATHERINE KING: Because they’re independent of me, they have a separate board and they are independent of Government, they organise their own operational arrangements, so they wouldn’t inform me about what they’re doing, but if they are doing that, then that is a good thing. That would be a matter for the board and for the CEO to determine that.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Does it surprise you that CASA’s not had a presence up there?

CATHERINE KING: I think that –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: And we know there are problems with the aviation industry.

CATHERINE KING: Yeah. Well, if there’s – and certainly if there are systemic problems, particularly up north that CASA is identifying, and that is a good thing, if they’re putting more staff up there, then that is a good thing.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: What type of new evidence would warrant a fresh inquiry into this issue?

CATHERINE KING: I’m not an investigator, and it really wouldn’t be something that would be ‑ that’s not for me to determine. What I have said, you know, and in the discussions we’ve had with Pip Spence, particularly the head of CASA, is, you know, if there are things that they identify they can do better, then they need to look at that, and you know, talk to me about what they need to be able to do that, and so that’s really where that’s up to at the moment.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: The Coroner here has refused a public inquest into that fatal crash, and it was hoped he would also look beyond just that crash and safety issues generally in the particularly tourism aviation industry. Did you make any representation to support a Coronial inquest?

CATHERINE KING: It would be inappropriate for me to do that. They are obviously independent, they’re part of the WA judicial system as well, it would be inappropriate for me to do that.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Are you meeting with the Benbow family while you’re in Perth?

CATHERINE KING: Not while I’m in Perth, but as I said, I have met with them, they’ve met via phone with staff from my office, and we’ve put them in touch with Pip Spence.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: Are you concerned about the mounting – well, there is concern at CASA regarding short staffing, bloated work backlogs, key unions involved with CASA, their members walking off the job; are you concerned about CASA’s ability to do their job properly, because these are very serious concerns, when people go on strike, you got to listen.

CATHERINE KING: They’re currently in EBA negotiations at the moment, so I do ‑ they are in Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations at the moment, so some of that commentary has that as a backdrop, so but what I –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: So are you saying it’s not genuine, the concerns?

CATHERINE KING: – would say is there’s an EBA negotiation happening at the moment, but the other thing that is happening, as I said, is we’ve asked John Skerritt to have a look at the sustainable funding models for the safety agencies across my portfolio.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: And what about aviation in the tourism industry; does that need to be specifically looked at?

CATHERINE KING: Well, I mean it’s very broad, and so really, you know, there are a lot of general aviation operators in the tourism sector, and they all have requirements under CASA regulations, I mean they all do have those.

So if there are people who are operating outside of the regulations, then you know, that is something that is of concern to us, and as I said, in this particular incident CASA has said very clearly, had the pilot survived, then there would have been ‑ they would have taken some action against him.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: I appreciate what you’re saying, but isn’t the question here who is checking them? You can have all the regulations you want, but they’ve got to be enforced, and the whole criticism here is about the lack of oversight, no one’s checking.

CATHERINE KING: And you cannot have a CASA officer at every airport, in every single plane right the way across the country. That is why it is incumbent on the sector itself to report; if people see anything they need to report. Obviously CASA needs to be able to do its job, it needs the resources to do its job, and that’s my job –

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: But it needs to be more proactive, doesn’t it –

CATHERINE KING: – to make sure that’s the case.

NADIA MITSOPOULOS: – to be looking at the industry. I’m not saying you have an officer in every plane, but there’s been virtually no presence in WA.

CATHERINE KING: But I would say that it, you know, like they do investigate, you know, they do investigate. But again, if there are things that need to be done to improve, not just CASA’s presence, but what they are doing in terms of general aviation more broadly, then, you know, I’m up for that, and part of what John Skerritt will be looking at is to look at whether the systems are working as they should be, not just at CASA but across all of my safety agencies.

(ABC Radio audio link - HERE. The Miniscule DK interview starts at approximately the 01:36:30 mark.)

Looking through previous episodes of the Nadia Mitsopoulos morning radio program, I note that last week she focused on the Broome R44 crash that killed 12 year old Ambar Miller: https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/p.../103036226 (from 05:15 minutes)

Quote:The parents of 12-year-old Amber Millar who died in a helicopter crash in Broome in 2020 are devastated the WA Coroner has decided not to hold an inquest in to the tragedy.

DK quotes: ".. I have got at the moment John Skerritt who used to head up the Therapeutic Goods Administration, I appointed him when we were last in government, it’s a regulatory agency around the safety of medicines and products. He has now left the TGA, and he is undertaking a piece of work for me across CASA, ATSB and AMSA, which is the Australian Maritime Safety Agency, to look at a couple of things...as I said, is we’ve asked John Skerritt to have a look at the sustainable funding models for the safety agencies across my portfolio. ...part of what John Skerritt will be looking at is to look at whether the systems are working as they should be, not just at CASA but across all of my safety agencies..."

No doubt in my mind that the Miniscule did not originally intend to spill the intel on John Skerritt appointment. This spill was purely as a result of a tenacious reporters relentless questioning on the major deficiencies and duplicity of CASA rotary wing operator/pilot oversight in the topend. (Refer this post for background on Su_Spence's sensitivity around this: Su_Spence's conflicted 'stating the bollocks' on Top-End Madness??)

From Google trolling I came across this Dept webpage: Australian Transport Safety and Investigation Bodies Financial Sustainability Review

Quote:Our transport safety bodies are world-renownedBig Grin - yeah right) and the Australian Government is committed to ensuring they stay operationally fit-for-purpose and are sustainably funded to carry out their responsibilities.

The Australian Transport Safety and Investigation Bodies Financial Sustainability Review (the Review) will review the operations, consider potential efficiencies and options for cost recovery of the following bodies;
  • Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

The Review will be undertaken over six months.

About the Review

The objectives of the Review are to identify, report and make recommendations on:
  • The extent to which agencies’ operations and associated funding arrangements/mechanisms are fit for discharging their legislative and regulatory responsibilities, and whether any changes should be considered by Government.
  • Government and non-government funding sources of safety and investigation bodies, together with current and future funding requirements (based on the efficient cost of delivery), including regarding any expected changes to each agency’s operating environment.
  • Assessment of options for government and non-government funding sources, including through cost recovery, and their likely sectoral impacts.
  • Opportunities for operational efficiencies, and how they could be implemented, including whether opportunities exist to implement risk-based frameworks or scale operations to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Any legislative or regulatory amendments required as a consequence of other recommendations made.
  • The Reviewer will consult with relevant government and industry stakeholders. The Reviewer will provide a report to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government following the conclusion of the Review for consideration.

Terms of Reference

Read the Terms of Reference.

Hmm...wonder why such a significant review has not been made public nor mentioned by Betts, Su_Spence and CO, or questioned on by the Senate RRAT committee in the Supplementary Budget Estimates? The sinister answer is on the ToR webpage:

Quote:Date published: 24 October 2023

Australian Transport Safety and Investigation Bodies Financial Sustainability Review—Terms of Reference

Document Australian Transport Safety and Investigation Bodies Financial Sustainability Review—Terms of Reference—PDF (220.7 KB)
Document Australian Transport Safety and Investigation Bodies Financial Sustainability Review—Terms of Reference—DOCX (129.49 KB)

So the ToR wasn't published till the day after the RRAT Senate Estimates hearing and is still yet to be brought to the attention of industry and taxpayers, including the identity of the anointed Reviewer John Skerritt??

Of also 'passing strange' interest is there are 2 versions under 'Governance'/'Who will conduct the Review?'

From the ToR:

Quote:1.3 Governance

1.3.1 Role of the Reviewer

The Review will be conducted by a Reviewer with appropriate expertise in public sector financial, operations and
governance to be appointed by The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional
Development and Local Government (the Minister).

The Reviewer will be responsible for the delivery of the final report to Government by early 2024, including
recommendations addressing the scope outlined above.

Secretariat support for the Review will be provided by the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Transport,
Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (the Department).

And from the review webpage:

Quote:Who will conduct the Review?

The Review is being undertaken by an eminent person with extensive expertise in public sector financial, operations and governance appointed by The Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (the Minister).

The Reviewer will be responsible for the delivery of the final report to Government by early 2024, including recommendations addressing the scope outlined above.

The Reviewer is being supported by a secretariat team within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts.

Spot the difference?

I wonder when the review webpage was 1st made public?

Finally, the 'Reviewer':


Professor John Skerritt

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Professor John Skerritt is a respected regulatory leader with extensive experience in strategic policy, operational and financing models for regulatory systems. He has led a number of regulatory functions across health, agriculture, veterinary and fisheries, and land and natural resource protection and emergency management areas. This includes supporting and implementing the results of major government reviews, modernising regulatory policies and operations including business and digital transformation, developing strengthened compliance and enforcement schemes as well as playing a lead role in the national and international harmonisation of regulation and regulatory practice.

He has extensive senior government experience, including 24 years in three Deputy Secretary/Deputy CEO roles - within the Australian Department of Health (including 10 years as Head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration), the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio and within the Victorian Government. Professor Skerritt also has significant experience on boards of international and national organisations, including as board chair and as chair of board audit committees.

Prof Skerritt is a Professor and Adjunct Professor respectively at the universities of Melbourne and Sydney and has a PhD and a University Medal from the University of Sydney, and international qualifications in management from London Business School and IMD Switzerland.

Hmm...didn't notice any references to transport safety, aviation or maritime safety investigation?? Dodgy

MTF?- Definitely...P2  Tongue

I think it’s only taken three or four years that the CASA budget has gone from $200 million to $300 million.

We can assume that crying poor and overworked will be the CASA mantra, and note the nuanced mention of ‘cost recovery.’

Cost recovery is based on the wrong assumption that there’s some relation to value as is found in the free market, but here we have a monopoly, independent as Minister King repeatedly asserts, a monopoly that invents permissions and charges like the proverbial bull for its permits.

Cost recovery as a concept conveniently forgets that the beneficiary of standards is supposed to be the general public.

CASA is a make work salary factory and should be disbanded and it’s duties put back into a Department as is the Westminster system of responsible government.

Hubris and a blind eye.

Reading through P2's Post - HERE - brings to mind the Bruce Rhodes tale of woe. The opening paragraphs of the ABC report - HERE – sum up the 'problems' Wyndham Aviation had after the event. Consider the stark differences in 'treatment' between that event and the Broome helicopter event. Bear in mind the Wyndham event attracted a 'systemic' ATSB investigation; Broome a 'defined' ATSB investigation; there is a marked difference between the two. Question One – Why???

Wyndham Aviation held an Air Operator Certificate; had been through the mill of CASA approval, surveillance, audit and operational scrutiny. Fully legal and operationally compliant. Their event involved a perfectly legitimate 'charter' under their approvals; pilot appropriately licenced, trained, experienced and current on type and operation. Aircraft and passengers insured, fully compliant maintenance records, weather suitable and all pre departure checks complete. A engine failed at a critical moment, without warning. ATSB have never determined the reason for this failure. The rest is in their report (FWIW) – HERE -. What followed was draconian, and shamed the CASA; Rhodes was hounded, vilified and accused of all manner of 'wrong doing'. Yet, in the final analysis; for some undetermined reason, a simple engine failed at a critical time, during a legitimate, approved, licensed CASA approved operation. This could be best defined as an 'accident' - there was no deliberate flaunting of any rule set, no intent to push on in the face of clear warning, and certainly no reason to fly an un- serviceable aircraft. No breach has ever been proven beyond doubt; or even on the balance of probability.

Now cast you eye over the P2 matrix and compare the CASA / ATSB response  to the blatant liberties taken by Thomas in the Broome event, only lightly investigated to a 'defined' level. Let's add up the eyebrow raising events:-

Unauthorised use of an industrial site as a heliport. (take a look at the pictures of that area and the surrounds). Was CASA aware of the safety risks inherent? If not – why not?

“It would also need to be demonstrated that CASA safety standards would be met and noise regulations could be satisfied.”

If you know a Chopper pilot; ask how long would an “unusual vibration” through the rudder pedals be tolerated?  (Aside) – unless it is an unfamiliar aircraft, Chopper pilots intimately know every small sound and feel of their aircraft; their lives depend on it – seriously, it really matters..Now this Broome bunch had “in the weeks preceding” noted this 'unusual' phenomenon. Was this mentioned on the aircraft's Maintenance Release (MR) or even Trip records/ flight logs? Did CASA or ATSB audit the paperwork for anomalies? If not why not?. Were the flight times logged compatible with the flights performed during the period of validity for the MR? I can find no reference to such detail being examined; of ATSB requesting that evidence or the Coroner questioning the 'serviceability' of the aircraft to be flying on that day – with passengers – at maximum gross weight. Why not?

Which brings us to the actual event. A good argument for borderline criminal intent could be shaped for this part. Consider the facts as presented:-

There existed, in fact, “for weeks” an 'unusual vibration' through the rudder bar/pedals.

Eventually 'licensed' engineers were called in. They requested and required a 'test flight' by the AMO pilot; to provide 'accurate' description and definition of the 'vibration'. From there some form of inspection and rectification could be determined.

“The AMO pilot elected not to hover or fly the helicopter in the industrial site as they felt that it was too confined and were concerned about foreign object damage if they hovered the helicopter.”

The Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) pilot declined (quite sensibly IMO) not to operate the aircraft within the crowded, cluttered confines of the 'yard'. If you wonder why, consider the requirements of the flight and the elevated 'risk' levels associated: a 'vertical' take off demands a 'high power' output. Any mechanical part creating the 'vibrations' would be under maximum loading. If anything was going to fail, this is exactly when it would quit. There was no viable escape path in this event. The subsequent accident clearly and graphically demonstrates this very point; in blood and body count.

“The next day Thomas, a private pilot who was unlicensed at the time, performed a high-powered vertical take-off from the industrial site in VH-NBY with three passengers on board.”

The AMO pilot would demanded a minimum fuel load (weight and fire) and as low an aircraft weight as possible (simple maths) and still declined to conduct the flight. -  No prizes for guessing why.

[Image: eca994918a66d5d22418c45d4b6ec03b]

“The confined area associated with the industrial property required the pilot of VH-NBY to conduct a near-vertical departure, within the avoid area of the height / velocity diagram, limiting the energy available in the helicopter to use in an emergency response,” the ATSB found.

Despite the many levels of protection afforded the minister for transport; it is the considered opinion of many that an open, complete full investigation of this tragic event be opened. Despite CASA abrogating responsibility for 'private' operations it is reasonable, given the 'facts' as presented, that commercial operations were being conducted under a very flimsy top cover, by a pilot without the required qualification or operational controls. The ATSB have defined their investigation as 'defined'. Considered 'qualified' expert opinion supports a clear argument for a 'systemic' investigation.

There are many 'other' facets to this event; and, many curious sidebars which would, in a honest world be examined, in detail, properly. Bruce Rhodes and Wyndham Aviation were torn to ribbons over an unexplained engine failure; the mob in WA/NT not only wander off practically unscathed, but with the smiles and thanks of the CASA board. Is this the 'safety' the nation pays for. I don't believe it is.

Toot – toot.

Dear Miniscule - We sent you the lifejackets??Rolleyes

To continue on with the TONAD, I refer back to the seemingly disconnected from all REALITY and proper MEDIA and INDUSTRY scrutiny the BOLLOCKS CASA 'Stating the Facts' media releases in regards to this matter (Su_Spence timeline of negligence and duplicity on Top End Robbo and Tourism Ops!!):

Quote:Type Stating the facts
Date 25 September 2023

Australia's aviation safety regulations are designed to keep you safe every time you fly but you need to be aware that the rules can vary according to the classification of the activity, an aircraft and its pilot.
[Image: cairns-airport.jpg?h=31c0b79e&itok=ZUbSIxAF]

Our rules cover how pilots are licensed, who can maintain the aircraft, who the operator is and what permissions they need. The rules also include requirements for aircraft to be registered, as well as certification and airworthiness standards.

Airlines and other commercial operators face more stringent requirements than private pilots, although there are safety obligations both must meet.

When you get into a car with a neighbour or friend there are different rules than if you are getting into a taxi or bus. These include different types of licences, maintenance requirements and who is responsible in the event of an accident and how they are 'checked'.

This is the same for aviation. When you fly with a friend or family member, you are probably flying privately. The pilot must be appropriately licenced, the aircraft must be airworthy, and it's the pilot's responsibility to ensure these requirements have been met.

However, the safety standard applied to private flights is not as stringent as the standards applied to commercial flights.

On the other hand, commercial flights can include everything from flying with a major airline, scenic flights and what are commonly referred to as 'charter' flights.

Charter flights are where you hire a company with a plane to fly you somewhere. Examples of this might be fly-in, fly-out flights or they could be flights put on for a specific event or reason. In some ways, these are like hiring a bus company or a limousine to drive your guests somewhere.

Commercial operators need to be approved to operate by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and are subject to regular and routine oversight activities to make sure that they continue to operate safely.

Here is some further information on each.

Commercial operators

All commercial aviation operations in Australia are subject to strict approval requirements and oversight by CASA.

Any operator transporting passengers, including activities such as a scenic flight, must hold an approval from CASA called an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC).

This requires the operator to meet certain safety standards and have the correct licences, personnel and insurance. The operator is responsible for making sure that anyone who flies for them, or works on their planes, is appropriately licenced by CASA.

Commercial or air transport pilots must have a specific pilot licence that allows them to fly commercially and must meet higher medical standards. They have to carry their licence at all times and are subject to random drug and alcohol testing.

Undertaking commercial aviation activities without an AOC is illegal and can result in significant penalties.

An AOC is only granted following a comprehensive assessment process. This includes the assessment and approval of 'key personnel' who remain accountable for the safety of the operation and compliance with regulations. Key personnel include the:
  • Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent)
  • Head of flying operations (or Chief Pilot), who has the primary responsibility for, and must manage, the safety and compliance of the flying operations
  • A person responsible for continuing airworthiness, such as a Head of Airworthiness and Maintenance Controller (HAAMC).
Following initial approvals, an AOC holder must apply to CASA for any significant changes to their operations. This includes matters such as adding new aircraft to their fleet, adding another base of operations or seeking to appoint a new person into regulated (key personnel) role.

CASA's role in overseeing passenger-carrying commercial operations is extensive. Routine surveillance is conducted by way of periodic site visits which are informed by CASA's assessment of the risks associated with a particular operator. Surveillance assesses an AOC holder's ability to manage its safety risks and compliance with safety regulations. It can include operational checks, testing of systems and gathering evidence and data.

CASA also conducts unscheduled surveillance when an operator comes to CASA's attention as a result of credible reports about alleged unsafe conduct involving or information provided by other aviation agencies. This can include random audits or 'ramp checks' conducted on any flight.

CASA publishes the details of AOC approvals and also the outcomes of enforcement action resulting from serious non-compliance relating to AOC holders on our website.

In some cases, the company you buy the ticket from might not be the company who is legally responsible for operating the flight – for example, it might be a tour operator or travel agent. If you are not sure who is operating the flight, you can ask for more information about who the approved aviation operator (AOC holder) is and check those details on our website.

CASA encourages reporting of any suspected unsafe behaviour or commercial operations without our approval.

Private pilots

A private operation is a trip flown by a person with private or recreational pilot's licence. You cannot 'buy' a ticket, or in most cases, otherwise 'pay' for a private flight. These are flights usually organised between friends or family and the pilot directly.

Private flights do not have to meet the same safety standards as commercial flights.
Private pilots have sole responsibility for the conduct of the flight and must operate strictly in accordance with the aviation safety rules and in the interest of ensuring air safety.

They must have a current medical certificate, a valid licence and the appropriate endorsements to fly certain aircraft in particular conditions. They must also have had a recent flight review – which is another routine check to keep their skills current.

They are required to carry their licence and medical certificate with them when acting as pilot in command of an aircraft.

Private pilots are also subject to CASA surveillance but not to the same extent as commercial operators.

We oversee private pilots though our licensing system, reports from the aviation industry or passengers and random spot checks at airports and aerodromes.

We conduct surveillance on private pilots if it comes to our attention that a pilot is not compliant. Information may be obtained from a number of sources, including industry intelligence or by information from passengers and other witnesses. We can also conduct ramp checks as part of our general surveillance process. These can be part of planned surveillance of a particular area, aerodrome or airfield, or as a one-off. CASA can conduct ramp checks at aerodromes or airfields.

Flying on a private plane is similar to travelling in a private car or boat  – passengers need to know who's at the helm or driving the car to make a decision as to whether they are comfortable flying with them.
CASA encourages reporting of any suspected unsafe behaviour.
Not too hard to work what prompted that load of bollocks... Dodgy

Wonder why that public message wasn't disseminated across MSM and social media??

Next rewind to the 22 August 2023:

Quote:Type Stating the facts
Date 22 August 2023
  • Allegations published by The Australian which suggest CASA does not take action against instances of unsafe flying are completely false.
  • CASA has zero tolerance for serious, wilful or repeated disregard of the aviation rules and takes all reports of illegal aviation behaviour seriously.
  • CASA does not normally investigate the owners of aircraft involved in incidents – many are owned under complex financial and shareholding arrangements.

[Image: clouds-pilots-operators-urg.jpg?h=57024e...k=GcL9Q7d1]

Troy Robert Thomas was a private pilot that had business interests in some aviation tourism companies. He had ownership interest in companies that owned aircraft that were being operated under another Air Operators’ Certificate.

Mr Thomas has never held any regulatory approvals other than a private pilot licence and was never authorised to make any safety decisions or fly on behalf of Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures or any other company.

CASA refutes the allegations published in The Australian on 22 August 2023. Each of the 2018 incidents was investigated and acted on by CASA.

CASA does not normally investigate the owners of aircraft involved in accidents or incidents – as many are owned under complex financial and shareholding arrangements.

CASA has identified only one significant incident that Mr Thomas was involved in prior to his fatal accident. That incident resulted in compliance action being taken against Mr Thomas.

A comprehensive search of CASA records has also identified some events involving Mr Thomas which did not have a bearing on safety. We also became aware of 6 additional unreported incidents during the Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation following the 2020 fatal accident.

In the 2022-23 financial year, CASA cancelled 6 civil aviation authorisations and suspended 4, and issued 106 infringement notices and 68 other notices. Many more incidents were also investigated under our coordinated enforcement process. We include these figures in our annual reports each year.

Note that this statement was updated on 29 September.

Not sure if this was disseminated through 'The Australian' editorial comments at the time but as far as I can tell this MR wasn't disseminated anywhere else, except possibly within the Miniscule's office staff... Rolleyes

Next rewind to 21 July 2023: https://www.casa.gov.au/enforcement-safety-rules

Quote:Everything we do is driven by safety and we understand most people in the aviation industry do the right thing and act in good faith in accordance with the rules.

[Image: enforcement-news.png?h=d1c349ea&itok=XeMr9WfW]

The professionalism and integrity of the majority of aviation industry participants underpins Australia’s strong safety record but we understand people sometimes make mistakes.

When that happens, we work with them using just culture principles to help them understand how they may have inadvertently erred and what they need to do to avoid making the same mistake again.

We may decide to provide education or formal counselling to ensure that in future they have adequate knowledge and will operate safely and in compliance with the rules.

It is a way of achieving a good safety outcome without the need to limit a person’s aviation privileges unless necessary in the interests of aviation safety.

Where we have zero tolerance is for serious, wilful or repeated disregard of the aviation rules.

We take all reports of illegal aviation behaviour seriously and we employ a range of responses determined by the available evidence.

Information about potential breaches can come from a variety of sources, including the public, other members of the aviation industry, CASA surveillance or oversight operations and anonymous or self-reporting.

All reports are important and even if a single report does not result in regulatory action, it may be used to build a case in the longer term.

We carefully consider all information and concerns raised with us, assessing how we should respond and the sort of action we should take.

We use proportionality and discretion in regulatory decision making and we always act according to the law. 

This means exercising our powers in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice, which require us to rely on evidence rather than hunches, rumour or speculation.

Our decisions need to be lawful and defensible and they are governed by our documented procedures, including those set out in the Enforcement Manual.

Different pathways that are available, depending on the issue, include:
  • assisting people with education and guidance material
  • encouraging people through audit safety findings and counselling notices
  • taking administrative action such as varying suspending, suspending or cancelling an authorisation
  • issuing an aviation infringement notice (AIN)
  • referring the matter for criminal prosecution.

We use enforcement action where necessary to compel a person to comply with legislative requirements or limit, constrain or prevent someone who is demonstrably unable or unwilling to follow the rules from exercising their aviation privileges.

Administrative action can include entering an enforceable voluntary undertaking, issuing directions or delivering a 'show cause' notice to vary, suspend or cancel and authorisation. An aviation infringement notice can involve fines of up to $1565 but the penalty a court can impose for the same offence can be up to $15,650. Demerit points may also be incurred and lead to the automatic suspension or cancellation of a licence.

A 'show cause notice' tells the holder of a civil aviation authorisation – such as a flight crew, remote pilot, aircraft engineer or air operator – why we believe there are reasons to vary, suspend or cancel their authorisation and invites them to tell CASA why they believe we should not do so.

If we consider there is an imminent and serious risk to safety, we can move to immediately suspend an authorisation while we complete an investigation into the facts and circumstances giving rise to our concerns. Such action requires CASA to make an application to the Federal Court, which must agree to maintain the suspension pending the completion of CASA’s investigation.

We also refer serious cases to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), who determines whether to start a prosecution.

Matters are usually referred to the CDPP when breaches are deliberate, show a reckless disregard for the rules or a pattern of disregarding rules, and/or cause a significant safety risk that can include putting other people in danger.

Whichever way we proceed, the chain of events begins with the accumulation of sound evidence supporting the belief that the safety rules have been breached.

We can’t be everywhere and see everything but credible reports from the public and industry can alert us to people doing the wrong thing, help preserve aviation’s well-deserved reputation and improve safety.

This is why we encourage people to report any safety concerns to us through our safety reporting mechanism. They should provide us with as much information as they can to support the concerns they have raised.

Now rewind to May 2023:

Quote:Type Stating the facts
Date 31 May 2023

The following statement was provided to The Australian newspaper on 30 May 2023 in relation to questions about our Board’s engagement with industry in Darwin in 2021.

[Image: clouds-pilots-operators-urg.jpg?h=57024e...k=GcL9Q7d1]

CASA has robust conflict of interest processes in place for staff and Board members which ensure that any perceived or actual conflict is appropriately managed.

The applications allowing collection of crocodile eggs were not exemptions but renewals of long-standing approvals held by a number of operators. They were handled as a routine matter by a CASA staff member.

CASA issues more than 200 approvals and authorisations each year to operators. We also issue around 100 exemptions to operators.

CASA’s Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy applies to all Board members and our staff. It outlines what is required to ensure actual or perceived conflict of interest are managed appropriately. The policy is published on our website.

Conflicts of interest by staff are regularly reviewed and where something is declared, this is reviewed by the manager as well as CASA’s legal team to see whether the conflict can be appropriately managed. This includes requirements for staff to declare COIs at the time of employment as well as other key touchpoints.

Board members are required to declare specific conflicts of interest at each Board meeting with respect to any matters that the Board will consider or make decisions on.

Board members have no role in CASA’s decision-making processes relating to applications or approvals.

The gifts and benefits register which CASA publishes includes detail about gifts or benefits received where the estimated value is greater than $100.

The CASA CEO and Board member who flew to Bathurst Island on a scheduled airline service on 21 June 2021 to better understand the types of aircraft used for remote air services did not leave the airport before they flew back to Darwin. These flights were paid for by CASA.


Type Stating the facts
Date 9 May 2023

The article in The Australian newspaper (CASA gave Matt Wright exemption before Chris Wilson’s fatal chopper crash, 6 May 2023) makes several statements that are incorrect and potentially misleading.
[Image: clouds-pilots-operators-urg.jpg?h=57024e...k=GcL9Q7d1]

CASA routinely assesses applications for activities which are unusual or not specifically addressed in the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. Collecting crocodile eggs in remote areas is a good example and this type of activity has been approved, with safety conditions, for more than 10 years.

CASA’s Board regularly meets in different locations around Australia as part of an ongoing program to engage with communities, local operators and CASA staff. Visiting aviation businesses to gain a deeper understanding of aviation operations is often arranged around Board meetings.

The CASA CEO and Board were not flown to the Tiwi Islands on a helicopter. As part of a familiarisation of remote air services, two members flew to Bathurst Island and return on the same afternoon on scheduled airline flights from Darwin. The tickets were purchased by CASA.

Hmm...join the dots on that lot?? -  Dodgy

MTF...P2  Tongue

Most of those editions of ‘Stating the facts’ were published in the wake of the Western Australian government’s and public’s anger and disbelief at CASA’s response to the Amber Millar tragedy.  Part of that anger and disbelief arose from one of the most monumentally stupid statements ever made by CASA in a strong field of stupid CASA statements:

“We encourage people to always check pilots are appropriately licensed and qualified to fly and to report any safety concerns they may have to CASA or the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.”

Ordinary members of the public wouldn’t know how and what to check.  That’s CASA’s job. 

Reciting the intended effects of the rules in a CASA webpage does not turn a member of the public into an expert capable of ascertaining whether a bunch of documents put under their nose means a person is “appropriately licensed and qualified to fly” an aircraft they’re about to jump into.  And then there’s the minor issue of working out whether the aircraft is airworthy for the flight.  Let’s put the CofA, MR and logbooks under the punter’s nose, too, so the punter can ‘check’ that as well.  Best give them all the weather forecasts and reports and NOTAMs as well, after ‘stating the facts’ about the difference between VMC and IMC and how to ‘check’ the aircraft equipment, pilot rating and aerodrome rules are being complied with.

Monumentally stupid. 

As Bill Engvall would say: Here's Your Sign.


Just suppose :-

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Just for a moment, imagine you are 'the' character involved in the following story.

The tourist: annual holiday, kids in the back of the SUV off to see the wonders of the great Australian outback. The kids see a sign for scenic flight over a natural wonder; the Missus declines; so you and the kids front up, pay up and climb inboard for the once in a life time 'Chopper' ride. Off you go – BANG – Lights out. The wife is in town getting her hair done when the police lob in with the sad, tragic tale.

About now many people will be wondering 'what happened and why'. Fair questions; questions which demand honest, open answers as speedily as they can be provided.

What happened is a simple enough puzzle; there was a failure of a critical component, the pilot was deprived of 'control' resulting in a violent collision with terrain. End of chapter 1.

Now the 'why' of it is a much more complex matter. In the world as presented, the major 'safety' systems swing into action. The ATSB will investigate and define and, in the fullness of time, present a report. This 'report' is a critical element, a document of exceeding import; much depends on how and to what 'level' the report is provided. There are differences, critical differences in the methodology used, resources allocated, investigator qualifications and, importantly, the final 'editing' of the final document. Much depends on this production; Coroner, police, insurance companies, CASA and, by extension the DoiT and their minister. So you can guess that the framework selected for the report is crucial. _.HERE_.

Intermission – quick costume change.

Now, suppose you owned half a dozen aircraft; and, these were 'available' for hire or lease. ABC charters need to lease (hire) a helicopter from you, for the busy tourism season – say for three months. As a business person, owning the asset you would need, as a matter of aviation, commercial and common law and insurance demands, to ensure that all the 'boxes' were ticked and the 'asset' was in operational and legal safe hands. Not only that; on a commercial level, aircraft operating 'costs' are usually defined on a 'per operating hour' basis. For example; $X per month 'standing charge + $Y per operational hour utilised. The 'per hour' is a critical number; maintenance, scheduled, mandatory and 'unexpected' costs rely on this number. If, in say 20 flight hours a major component is due for replacement; that cost must be met and the maintenance carried out and certified. A clearly defined record must be maintained, much depends on this unimpeachable safety oriented system.

BUT – what if? Lets pretend that the operator leasing your aircraft 'shaves' a few minutes off every operating hour; call it 6::60 x 10 = 1 free hour every 10. So instead of a service at 100 hours, the aircraft is actually running 110; take that over a six month period; time critical major components are now 'on-the-wing' far beyond their mandated maintenance requirement; in short they have become an operational, insurance and legal liability.

There exists a legally binding framework in place designed to prevent this type of 'scam'; serious criminal penalties attached for those who get 'rumbled'. So, as the 'owner' it would be a good thing to keep a careful, watchful eye over the asset. It would also be prudent to keep a careful watch on flight times, type of operation and the stipulated, mandatory maintenance requirements. Only makes commercial sense to do so. Loss of hull, negated insurance due to compliance failure – major financial loss – not much chance of recovery; the operator has been closed down by the Authorities. In short, you are buggered and probably likely to be sued, if not prosecuted.  Or so the 'theory' goes anyway......

Aye well; back to the stark reality of the Broome fatal helicopter crash. The whole event demands some serious attention and must not be swept under the ministerial carpet. There are some serious questions relating directly back to 'official' involvement which IMO (and many others) that require unequivocal answers; answers the minister for transport should be demanding – now, in short order.

For example: flight time logged by pilots against the hours presented of Maintenance Release (MR) documents, company 'trip records' and the last pilot's log book. There needs to be a clear picture of the 'fit for purpose' state of the aircraft involved in a fatal event.

For example: This was a fatal accident; there are clearly defined 'systematic' aberrations preceding the event; a history of 'cowboy' operations and some close calls. These have all been slipped through 'loop-holes' and; in an open, full bottle 'investigation' could well be defined as contributory to the event.

For example: Did CASA or ATSB inspect, survey or monitor the owners records to define the probity of scheduled maintenance or operational events; such as 'an invoiced 'medivac' between 'home' and a boat back to home again; or, why the 'patient' was not taken to a medical facility – by the private pilot, operating without an AOC, training, supervision, or any form of 'operational' approval  to protect the 'patient'?

For example: why was a clearly 'systemic' investigation downgraded to a 'defined' investigation; and, at who's behest was that?

A young life was lost in this event; that stand alone should be enough for our best efforts to ensure it should not happen ever again; not under the circumstance surrounding. When a family pay for a 'scenic' it is in good faith that CASA have done their job properly; on site. That ATSB will, to the best of their ability make certain that all; warts and and all, 'facts' are brought into focus. That steps are taken at the highest levels to ensure, as far as possible, that this type of travesty is reduced to a minimum. That is why the public pays the big bucks.

That's it – rant over; but this one was so very, very avoidable, it makes me cranky – (just a bit)...

Toot – toot...

[Image: chalk-cheese-1.jpg]

Chalk & Cheese: S is for? - Surveillance.

Via the Su_Spence thread:  Su_Spence breach of statutory duty and negligence timeline - Part II

Quote:S is for? - Surveillance This is an easy one  (IE refer to the 'Contents' [pg v - vii of the report]): According to the ATSB AO-2022-009 Final Report there is no relevant section or reference applicable to regulator surveillance activities in regards to rotary wing HEC (crocodile egg collecting) AOC approvals between 2007 and 2023. Nor is there any indication that surveillance had been conducted of the operator Helibrook?? -  Dodgy

As a clear chalk and cheese comparison, I refer to another ATSB systemic investigation - AO-2018-078. In regards to CASA oversight, the following is the overview summary (page 29):

Quote:The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had two primary means of oversighting a specific operator’s aviation activities: regulatory services and conducting surveillance of its activities. They also used a scale of prioritisation, based on risk, to determine where to focus resources. This prioritisation was based on several factors, such as the sector of operation, organisational changes and challenges.

To maintain oversight across Australian operators (authorisation holders), CASA had a number of certificate management teams in different locations, made up of CASA officers, including flying operations inspectors, safety systems inspectors, and airworthiness inspectors. Each of these teams oversighted multiple authorisation holders. At the time of the accident, the team responsible for the oversight of Airlines of Tasmania comprised of one certificate team manager, three flying operations inspectors, four airworthiness inspectors and one safety system inspector. The team had oversight of 58 AOC holders, 50 aviation maintenance organisations and four delegates.

This oversight summary is strangely remiss in the AO-2022-009 report, despite (I would have thought) being equally applicable??

Next the regulatory services processes:

Quote:Regulatory services processes

Regulatory services included assessing applications for the issue or variation to an operator’s AOC and associated approvals, key personnel approvals, maintenance personnel approvals, and check pilot approvals and renewals. Regulatory services provided by CASA for Airlines of Tasmania in 2014–2018 included:
  • a review of changes to the SMS manual (2014, 2017–2018)
  • approval of the chief pilot (2016)
  • approval of the safety manager (2016 and 2018).

Hmm...amazing the parallels? - Rolleyes

On the subject of surveillance refer from bottom of page 27.


Quote:Risk-based surveillance adopts a structured process and is used by CASA in its oversight of authorisation holders and prioritisation of its surveillance activities based on authorisation holders’ risk profiles. It focuses on an authorisation holder’s effectiveness in managing its systems risks and enables targeted surveillance of high-risk areas of an authorisation holder’s systems. It is also a method by which CASA can evaluate that all activities conducted by an authorisation holder are as safe as reasonably practicable.
Except it seems if you're a top-end R44 operator approved to conduct HEC operations for the collection of crocodile eggs. Or you're a owner/pilot of multiple rotary and fixed wing aircraft, deployed throughout the region conducting aerial work and charter operations, that has been involved in several safety incidents and is known to be conducting illegal aero-med retrievals that have been invoiced for??

Next under 'Surveillance Findings':

Quote:In accordance with the CSM, once a surveillance event was completed, the surveillance team members ‘review the evidence obtained for each assessed system risk to determine the level of effectiveness of the associated controls’. Depending on the nature of the deficiencies identified in these controls, written notices in the form of a safety observation or safety finding are issued to the authorisation holder to highlight potential and/or actual breaches.

Safety observations advise an authorisation holder of latent conditions resulting in system deficiencies that have the potential to result in a breach if not addressed. They also identify potential areas of improvement in safety performance. Safety observations do not require a response from the authorisation holder.

Safety findings (previously known as a notice of non-compliance or NCN), were issued for the ‘purposes of identifying a breach of a legislative provision or a provision of the authorisation holder’s written procedures’. These findings will generally be issued when CASA is satisfied that the authorisation holder has the willingness and ability to take remedial and corrective actions to address this.

When a safety finding was issued, the authorisation holder was required to respond to CASA within a specified period of time, providing evidence of any remedial action, root cause analysis, and corrective action taken. The response and associated evidence would be reviewed to determine whether the authorisation holder ‘has returned to a compliant state’ and ‘is actively working towards implementing the corrective action to mitigate the potential of recurrence of the identified deficiency’. If CASA rejected the response, the authorisation holder would be provided another opportunity to respond. If the response was accepted by CASA, the safety finding was acquitted and the authorisation holder notified accordingly.

However, if CASA could not be satisfied that the authorisation holder was willing or able to do so, the finding would be issued and the CASA coordinated enforcement process would be initiated.

A repeat safety finding was issued when the same breach was identified during subsequent audits. To issue a repeat finding, the criteria of the breach had to be exactly the same, that is, the same section of the regulations was not being complied with. The CSM provided limited details about assessing and acquitting repeat safety findings aside from referring the operator to coordinated enforcement. The CSM and CASA Enforcement Manual stated that:

When conducting the post-surveillance review and analysis, if the authorisation management team identify repeated breaches of a similar nature from the review of previous surveillance events, the authorisation management team, in conjunction with the Controlling Office Manager, must initiate the Coordinated Enforcement Process (CEP)...The CEP will provide a forum for better informed decision making and for discussing alternative options. [CSM]

This [process] may identify which particular enforcement tool or combination of tools that would be most likely to achieve the optimal safety outcome…However, the most appropriate response may ultimately involve a combination of: enforcement and compliance tools, compliance tools alone, or voluntary action initiated by the industry participant. [Enforcement Manual]

There follows a long winded description of the CASA surveillance procedures and assessment tools:

Quote:A summary of the overall scores and comments made during AHPI assessments for Airlines of Tasmania in 2017 (AOC only)[27] are shown in Table 5. In these assessments, high scores were given for the parameters under ‘safety outcomes’, which included regulatory history breaches and enforcement. This related to repeat safety findings and the associated unsatisfactory responses (refer to the section titled Surveillance events for Airlines of Tasmania). There were also several comments in the assessments that noted the SMS was not operating effectively. There were no AHPI assessments conducted in 2018.

In bold compare to the disturbing ATSB performance summary of the Helibrook SMS... Rolleyes

Included in the report was an interesting section titled, 'Previous investigations with surveillance and hazard identification findings':

Quote:Previous ATSB investigations have identified findings relating to CASA surveillance events, activities and/or processes. These included two collision with terrain accidents in 2017 involving a Cessna 441 and another involving a Cessna 172M, and the ditching of an Israel Aircraft Industries Westwind 1124A in 2009. Specifically, the findings were:

In the 5 years leading up to the accident, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority had conducted numerous regulatory service tasks for the air transport operator and had regular communication with the operator’s chief pilots and other personnel. However, it had not conducted a systemic or detailed audit during that period, and its focus on a largely informal and often undocumented approach to oversight increased the risk that organisational or systemic issues associated with the operator would not be effectively identified and addressed. [ATSB investigation AO-2017-057]

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s procedures and guidance for scoping a surveillance event included several important aspects, but it did not formally include the nature of the operator’s activities, the inherent threats or hazards associated with those activities, and the risk controls that were important for managing those threats or hazards. [ATSB investigation AO-2017-005]

Although the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) collected or had access to many types of information about a charter and/or aerial work operator, the information was not integrated to form a useful operations or safety profile of that operator. In addition, CASA’s process for obtaining information in the nature and extent of an operator’s operations were limited and informal. These limitations reduced its ability to effectively prioritise surveillance activities. [ATSB investigation AO‑2009-072]

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s procedures and guidance for scoping an audit included several important aspects, but it did not formally include the nature of the operator’s activities, the inherent threats or hazards associated with those activities, and the risk controls that were important for managing those threats or hazards. [ATSB investigation AO-2009-072]

In addition to the above findings:

Although the operator’s safety management processes were improving, its processes for identifying hazards extensively relied on hazard and incident reporting, and it did not have adequate proactive and predictive processes in place. In addition, although the operator commenced air ambulance operations in 2002, and the extent of these operations had significantly increased since 2007, the operator had not conducted a formal or structured review of its risk controls for these operations. [ATSB investigation AO-2009-072]

Anyone else see the ironies of the examples that the ATSB has picked on?? Wonder why they didn't include the VARA ATR-72 broken tail accident?? Oh that's right they farmed that part of the investigation off to a 'Case study: implementation and oversight of an airline's safety management system during rapid expansion':  Update: ATSB PC accident investigation AO-2014-032

Quote:Overview of the investigation

As part of the occurrence investigation into the In-flight upset, inadvertent pitch disconnect, and continued operation with serious damage involving ATR 72, VH-FVR (AO-2014-032) investigators explored the operator's safety management system (SMS), and also explored the role of the regulator in oversighting the operator's systems.

The ATSB collected a significant amount of evidence and conducted an in‑depth analysis of these organisational influences. It was determined that the topic appeared to overshadow key safety messages regarding the occurrence itself and therefore on 19 October 2017 a separate Safety Issues investigation was commenced to examine the implementation of an organisation's SMS during a time of rapid expansion, along with ongoing interactions with the regulator.

As part of its investigation, the ATSB:
  • interviewed current and former staff members of the operator, regulator and other associated bodies
  • examined reports, documents, manuals and correspondence relating to the operator and the methods of oversight used
  • reviewed other investigations and references where similar themes have been explored.

This stitched up Hooded Canary investigation waffled along aimlessly for 3 years until it was subsequently discontinued: 

Quote:Based on a review of the available evidence, the ATSB considered it was unlikely that further investigation would identify any systemic safety issues. Additionally, in the context that the investigation examined a time period associated with the early implementation of an SMS, it was also assessed that there was minimal safety learning that was relevant to current safety management practices. Consequently, the ATSB has discontinued this investigation.

The evidence collected during this investigation remains available to be used in future investigations or safety studies. The ATSB will also monitor for any similar occurrences that may indicate a need to undertake a further safety investigation. The ATSB will also continue to examine safety management systems, and their oversight, in other systemic investigations.

Hmm...wonder why the 'evidence collected' etc. was not used in the AO-2018-078 or AO-2022-009 investigations and why a 'further safety investigation has not been initiated given the evidence of the 'previous investigations'?

Next I note that the AO-2018-078 investigation findings led to a safety issue being issued to the regulator and was then escalated to a very rare safety recommendation, which was finally assessed as appropriately acquitted by the ATSB in February this year:

Quote:Action description
  • The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority amend its acquittal process for repeat safety findings to ensure it is effective in ensuring that all previous findings of a similar nature are also appropriately assessed prior to the current and all associated safety findings being acquitted.

(Go to the link - HERE - for the SR text and responses etc.)
Passing strange coincidence but the CASA final response was received 2 days before the ANAO released their audit report into the 'Civil Aviation Safety Authority Planning and Conduct of Surveillance Activities'.

I note recommendation 2:

Quote:Recommendation no. 2
Paragraph 2.63

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority improve its approach to risk by:
  • incorporating risk likelihood as part of its approach to surveillance planning or clearly establish the basis for not considering risk likelihood in its prioritisation of authorisation holders for surveillance; and
  • applying the risk and prioritisation framework consistently across all sectors and industry delegates.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority response: Agreed

Anyone else believe that recommendation has been appropriately acquitted?

Oh well perhaps Skerrit's 'Ghost' review will provide the panacea for Miniscule Dicky King to justify topping up the CASA and ATSB troughs of money, in order for Su_Spence and Popinjay to address the many endemic cultural and organisational deficiencies within their flawed agencies?

Quote:CATHERINE KING: No, no, and what I would say is I have got at the moment John Skerritt who used to head up the Therapeutic Goods Administration, I appointed him when we were last in government, it’s a regulatory agency around the safety of medicines and products. He has now left the TGA, and he is undertaking a piece of work for me across CASA, ATSB and AMSA, which is the Australian Maritime Safety Agency, to look at a couple of things. First is sustainable funding models, so we need to make sure we’ve got enough resources so that they can do their jobs, and also to look at the regulatory environment in which they operate in.

So he’s having a look at that for me at the moment, and certainly if there’s anything further that we need to do, or if CASA identifies anything further they think we need to do, then I am up for that.

CATHERINE KING: But I would say that it, you know, like they do investigate, you know, they do investigate. But again, if there are things that need to be done to improve, not just CASA’s presence, but what they are doing in terms of general aviation more broadly, then, you know, I’m up for that, and part of what John Skerritt will be looking at is to look at whether the systems are working as they should be, not just at CASA but across all of my safety agencies.

In the meantime from the BRB, here is the 'King Aviation Swiss Cheese' model for the Miniscule to refer... Big Grin

[Image: Swiss-Cheese.jpg]

MTF...P2  Tongue

A shocker;  in the woodpile...

Paraphrased – Wiki - “an old figure of speech originating in the United States meaning "some fact of considerable importance that is not disclosed—something suspicious or wrong.”

Something of 'considerable importance'  'suspicious' and 'wrong'. The ABC have tried through two separate, worthwhile  'articles'  - HERE _ and -HERE – to move the monolith of 'aviation safety' into action – Alas....One has to wonder why there is no 'in-depth', serious, 'look-at' the shenanigans and liberties taken by the Broome based helicopter owner; his connections and his ability to conduct the known operations? What possible reasons would prevent, particularly after a fatal, particularly after a State Premier has called for an 'in-depth' analysis and inquiry? WTD????

ABC - “A West Australian coroner has denied the need for an inquest into the death of a 12-year-old girl who died in a helicopter crash in Broome in July 2020.”

ABC - “Coroner Michael Jenkin said while he acknowledged their "desire to ensure Amber's death has been carefully investigated", he had determined he had enough evidence to make a finding without an inquest.”

Well done ABC; _ HERE _ valid questions; read through the article; pause; consider and then ask what, in the seven Hell's is going on here? Because it is WRONG; very seriously WRONG and it is the 'shocker-in-the- woodpile' that no one wants to acknowledge; because it is absolutely indefensible; the whole thing; soup to nits -  plain wrong..

We – PAIN and the BRB have a 'theory' as to why the Broome 'fatal' and many, many other close calls have been swept aside. It is simple enough – everyone, from CASA to the police; from locals to the pilots working in the area; everyone: except the fare paying passengers knew what was occurring on a regular basis. In short - Illegal operations. Thomas has been proven to have conducted 'commercial' operations and CASA never laid a glove on the bum. Why not? Why the shut-down of Coronial and police inquiry; why have CASA and the ATSB chosen to focus the spotlight on the 'Croc 'o Crap' operations and where are the Federal police here in this? 'The Fed's'? - asks one of the BRB – MONEY is why. ANY quick, desk top study of the 'cost' of machinery; operational costs, the length of the tourist and 'egg' season, the returns on the millions invested; and the revenue grossed must be at least 'curious' as to how this fantasy survived – fiscally. I don't add up -

So; Broome gets shuffled aside; nothing to see here. The real show is the Croc operation. Why; well CASA have lots and lots of prescribed wriggle room (legal type) and can weasel out from under, particularly with ATSB cooperation under their cosy MoU. Smoke and mirrors to divert attention from the glaring lack of action on the clown in Broome conducting 'illegal' operations; like medivac passenger charter, close to last light, from a ship-at-sea – without any approval, operational support; licence; qualification, operational approval or even a pilot licence (let alone medical) which supports end-of-daylight medivac 'charter'.

Spotlight on the high media profile 'Croc-Jock' is a distraction from the gross failure of CASA to simply 'perform design function'. Ignorance is no defence at law; but they knew – and, unless there was some major police operation underway, which may be compromised by CASA reading the riot act; then there is no excuse for this smoke and mirrors distraction from the serious, multiple events in Broome; the last of which claimed a life; and could, with the stroke of pen, been prevented.

There; that's it – off my chest. That the CASA board consented to accept a free – adventure flight puts, IMO, the icing on a very deceptive offering of cake.

Toot – toot......

“And the Wino and I know”.  - Etc - Jimmy Buffett (legend)..

The Aus - “Ms Wilson launched the costly litigation just a few months before the strict two-year time limitation, which applies to civil aviation matters, was set to expire”.

Consider some of the ATSB delay on publishing 'final' reports. History tells the tale.

The Aus - “The civil action comes less than a fortnight after the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released its 113-page final report into her husband’s fatal accident, which found that the helicopter likely collided with terrain soon after take-off due to fuel exhaustion, but also laid bare a litany of failures and serious safety issues involving CASA and Helibrook”.

CASA could care less; 'on the steps' settlement; all covered by ComCare (or some such). The party will continue without a pause, the money keeps rolling in, no jobs lost, no changes, no embarrassment, no blame, zero changes of any value; and yet, the Broome aberrations are allowed to just fade into legend, without anyone breaking wind in response, let alone 'do something. Ayup; tax payers - just a gift that keeps on giving, since when was their safety of concern in 'private' operations, no CASA skin in that game is there?.

Ayup; you pays your money and takes your chances...Shameful..

[Image: smore-7.jpg?w=560]

AIPA Green Paper submission: AIOS endemic under YSCB BUBBLE?? - Rolleyes

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Quote:AIPA’s Submission to Aviation Green Paper – Towards 2050

November 2023

AIPA has submitted a response to the Aviation Green Paper, expressing support for green goals while emphasizing the economic and connectivity role of aviation. AIPA calls for a comprehensive National Policy and a purposeful White Paper to benefit the aviation sector. Key areas addressed include safeguarding regional airports, balancing environmental goals, disappointment in noise-centric planning, advocating for general aviation support, addressing safety concerns in emerging technologies, and calling for regulatory transparency and agency fitness checks. The submission also emphasizes addressing workforce shortages, supporting Australia's global aviation leadership, and expressing concerns about the international airport designation process. AIPA remains committed to these priorities for the upcoming White Paper.

Click HERE to read the detailed submission.

MTF...P2 Tongue

Perseverating :: Perspicacity :: Self preservation?

As mentioned, there was an 'uproar' at the last BRB indaba. I thought (FWIW) it may be worthwhile to 'boil down' my notes and try to frame, in a short 'blurb' the radical cause of such concern. When qualified, competent, even considered 'experts' start to boil over, time to simmer the pot. The short version is in the heading; and, the conflicts it all creates.

Perseveration is demonstrated by the inability to shift from one concept to another or to change or cease a behaviour pattern once having started it. Perseveration also refers to the inability to translate knowledge into action (initiation of a task). The person is “stuck in set”—unable to discard the previous set of behaviours—or is unable to “activate” for a new situation. The person stuck in set attempts to solve another problem with information relevant to a previous problem.

If there is a 'logical' start point, I think ICAO would be a good place to begin. The 'crew' had taken a long, hard look at the pertinent documents, from the perspective of our State Safety Program (SSP) performance. Their opinion was  rather than focus on our apparent regulatory differences (there's more non-compliance than compliance), the following observations regarding our Aircraft Accident Investigation (AAI) obligations of our SSP, undertaken by the ATSB were made and supported.

ICAO 2016 SMICG SSP/SMS recommendations (co-authored by CASA) state:

"1.3 — Accident and Incident investigation.

(a) Consider the contribution and function of the State accident investigation body to the SSP, especially to your safety risk and mitigation actions.

(b) There needs to be organisational independence between the State accident investigation body and State authorities; however, there does need to be an interrelationship within the SSP."

The Helibrook and SeaWorld helicopter accidents are current / prime examples of complex activities involving all aspects of the ’system'. The ICAO 2019 SMICG document titled; “Safety Case Evaluation” (co-authored an by CASA), is at the core of these accidents, yet not discussed or bench-marked in the ATSB ’s reports. The Safety Case Evaluation states:

"Regulatory requirements.

Regulatory Authorities may require a formal safety case to be submitted in certain instances such as change management or addressing specific safety issues. There may also be specific regulatory requirements on how a safety case or safety risk assessment is formally accepted on the basis of existing regulatory obligations. These should always be followed, and this guide supports that formal acceptance.

This guide should be used to record the Regulatory Authority’s evaluation of a safety case in order to demonstrate that the safety case was appropriately evaluated by the Regulatory Authority."

Both accidents involve changes from approved operations: (Helibrook HEC) and (SeaWorld RHS > LHS, A/C change) - a significant shift in operational configuration. The guidelines discuss ‘regulatory involvement’ in change management and highlight the consideration of:_

"what confidence the regulator has with the operator making the change?"

Considering Helibrook had a history of several prior incidents and a (known) unimplemented SMS (2019); what confidence level did CASA have to issue the HEC Approval (multiple times)? Additionally, the repeated Approval renewal appears to be influenced by the instrument expiration and upcoming crocodile egg collecting season (FOI documents). This is relevant contextual information that should be appropriately disclosed in a ’systemic’ investigation. Also, the 2019. Level 1 CASA Systems Audit, had identified that the Helibrook SMS was NOT implemented. As a ’Systemic’ investigation, lessons from the performance of the SMS, prior to he accident, would be valuable to the industry. A missed opportunity by the ATSB? (Silly question department - init).

ICAO guide outlines 6 Steps in a Safety Case Evaluation guide. Of particular note is Step 2. It lists specific instructions and evaluation guidance with system change. With these accidents in-mind, it’s worth reading the ICAO recommended process - it makes a lot of basic sense and therefore should form part of the ATSB ’s analysis.

In the SeaWorld (‘Defined’) accident with changes requiring the PIC to occupy the LHS; new visual patterns/perspectives were introduced. These represent a significant change and a Safety Case should have been triggered within their ‘accepted' SMS. Subsequently, that should have been evaluated by CASA.

Anyone who’s ever adapted to a left-hand drive car understands the issues - it’s not rocket science and the variety of risks are tangible. Considering this was a high frequency - rapid, short rotation - high traffic density - passenger operation, there would be a lot to learn. It has potential valuable SMS lessons and an insight into procedural design change challenges (comms/circuit design/SOPs etc).

This detail isn’t available in the ATSB Interim report - a year after the accident. To date, we have an ATSB PR Brief and Interim report that chose to disclose, amongst a myriad of contributory factors, that the PIC of one A/C had very low traces of a prohibited substance that, according to a forensic pharmacologist, would have been unlikely to have had any psycho motor skill impairment. This was scripted and disingenuous in the general view. But, needless to say, the media jumped aboard and embellished this non-contributory fact, as blame (bugger research). The ATSB would be best served to dump its PR strategy as the media don’t understand ’no-blame’, nor do the majority of the public, so it's a pointless exercise.

Similarly, the Helibrook (‘Systemic') investigation should have had a thorough assessment the Approval application (triggering a Safety Case) and CASA should have evaluated a new application - EVERY YEAR. Grudgingly, the crew gave credit to the ATSB for at least partially analysing the history of the Approval process, albeit only part of the process. A broader view of historical organisational surveillance would be informative in understanding the accident context.

Noticeably, a CASA Board meeting was held in DRW June 2021 and the upcoming HEC restrictions were to be discussed, followed by a demonstration flight with Helibrook. Did this influence CASA’s confidence in the operation and/or HEC Approval in September 2021? It’s not included in the ATSB report, for whatever reason - and I’m sure it’s not a good one. The CASA ‘Gift Register’ financial declaration satisfies disclosure and transparency, yet perception of conflict is often worse than an actual conflict itself. Regardless of the level of influence the Board meeting had, it’s relevant factual context that should have be disclosed in the analysis.

Step 5 in the ICAO Safety Case Evaluation process is: 'Risk Mitigation and Acceptance'. Again, its worth keeping these accidents in-mind whilst reading this guidance:

With the Helibrook accident, thorough analysis of this guidance may have identified why and how CASA ’‘drifted’ from the 2013 Risk Management Plan (RMP) position? All the ATSB have established is that it happened. Identifying process improvement appears to be received with derogatory connotations by SSP agencies rather being seen as opportunities to improve.

Whether the ATSB is suffering from ministerial capture, bureaucratic pressure or individual self-preservation, it needs to change and comply with the intent of ICAO Annex 13. When you take into consideration other aspects of the SSP, ie, ATC, Aerodromes, ATSB KPI’s, CASA oversight etc, we (AUS) are ‘flying dangerously’. 

A SSP, as with any safety system, requires compliance with SOP's and risk management to maintain a safe baseline performance. The various agencies of our SSP hold the industry accountable to these obligations, yet deviations/interpretations within the SSP seem to go unopposed, or worse, remain as latent conditions. The 'no-blame’ ATSB agency must be empowered to provide constructive criticism relating to SSP deviations -in a mature system, it is expected. These were both fatal accidents that must be learnt from.

All, simply closed off with ICAO’s statement. "It is important to recognise that an SSP is an activity and not just a document” (Shelf-ware). Our SSP has large agencies with very detailed bureaucratic processes, yet the 'outcome' doesn’t functionally address the intent of the SSP. There appears to be unbalanced ‘authority gradients’ within our SSP.

There was more, much more, but, in essence, the above paraphrases a collective opinion, (without the 'sound and fury'). But IMO, the 'big question has not as yet been answered. When are the grown ups going to turn up and 'audit' DoIT supervision of 'system' ? Use their Perspicacity to prevent further Perseverating and ensure the Self preservation of the Australian travelling public and the industry which carries it. Time: Gentlemen PLEASE..!

Toot -(weary) - toot......

Dicky King is back and mentions the A-Word -  Dodgy

Via LMH:

Quote: Department to sift through 8000 WSA Submissions

2 February 2024

[Image: wsa_noise_zones2.jpg]

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said today that her department was dealing with 8000 submissions to the Western Sydney (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport (WSI) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The EIS included assessments of the noise, social and environmental impacts of the WSI preliminary flight paths and the ALP government’s proposed actions to mitigate these impacts. It was released in June 2023 and is separate from the airspace design recently released for comment.

"This included a draft policy for noise treatments to existing properties most impacted by aircraft noise and considerations for any potential acquisition of property," Minister King said

"This feedback will be considered when finalising the flight path design.

"The Australian Government appreciates that WSI’s flight paths has caused some concern for community members, particularly around aircraft overflight noise.

"That is why we released WSI’s preliminary flight paths early, in June 2023, and undertook a range of community information and feedback sessions so that communities were across the detail of the flight paths and could contribute to the process by making a submission."

Since the release of the preliminary flight paths, the department has held 46 drop-in sessions and information stalls across western Sydney, Blue Mountains and Greater Sydney, as well as two online webinars.

Airservices Australia has supplemented the engagement with an additional eight events.

The public comment period for the EIS has now closed.

Phew...8k submissions that should keep EWB's minions gainfully employed till at least the next election - WSA trough fund for ALL!  Rolleyes

MTF...P2  Tongue

Dicky King the worst Minister oversighting Transport EVER??

Courtesy of HofR Question time Monday (bucket on standby recommended  Confused ):

Quote:Mr LITTLEPROUD (Maranoa—Leader of the Nationals) (14:35): My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Australia's top-selling car brand, Toyota, doesn't domestically sell a single vehicle that will meet the end point of the vehicle efficiency standard required to avoid the new family car tax. Industry analysis shows the popular family SUV the Toyota RAV 4 will be taxed up to an extra $11,000 on every sale. Does the minister agree with the comments by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy that 'no particular model will go up'?

Ms CATHERINE KING (Ballarat—Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) (14:36): Transport, Regional Development and Local Government) (14:36): Well, here we go again. It's the political party of the '$100 lamb roast'. I had lamb on the weekend, and I don't remember it being $100. It was very nice, thank you very much. It's the party of, 'Whyalla will be wiped off the map.' I haven't been there recently, but I know the Prime Minister has. There are millions of dollars of investment going into Whyalla. And, of course, it's the party of 'the end of the weekend'. Well, here we go again. You cannot believe a single thing these Chicken Littles of Australian politics say—not a single thing. They know the figure that they just quoted has been completely made up. On this side of the House, we want Australians to have greater choice in the new vehicles that they buy and to pay less of their hard earned cash on fuel.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order! The Minister will pause. The member for Page, the Leader of The Nationals and the member for Hume, screaming and yelling at someone while they're speaking is not only disrespectful; it's totally against the standing orders. Interjections are one thing, but yelling at someone while they're addressing the parliament is not on. And, to this minister particularly, it happens over and over again. If you want to interject, then interject—but no more yelling.

CATHERINE KING: As I said, in case you couldn't hear me, you cannot believe a single thing these Chicken Littles of Australian politics actually have to say. On this side of the House, we want Australians to have a greater choice of the new vehicles they buy and to pay less of their hard earned cash in fuel.

We're consulting on a new vehicle efficiency standard that is right for Australia, but Australians have missed out on millions of dollars of fuel savings because of those opposite. They're missing out on millions of dollars of fuel savings they could have been saving now because those opposite lacked the courage to do anything about it. The Leader of the Nationals needs to explain why he thinks that Australia should not have access to cars that are cheaper to run and why he thinks that Australians buying a new car should be paying more at the petrol bowser than those in other comparable countries. Explain why you think that is the case.

Australia has become, as we know, a dumping ground for less modern cars, and everyday Australians are paying more at the petrol bowser because of it. We currently stand alone with Russia as one of the last advanced economies not to have a fuel efficiency standard. The Leader of the Nationals might want to align his policies with those of Russia, but I would rather line up with 85 per cent of countries in the global car market. His own colleagues, frankly, not only supported a standard when in government; they confirmed that it would not push up prices:

So when fuel efficiency standards were introduced in the US, the most popular models before introduction stayed the most popular models after introduction … what we would call utes … There wasn't a material change in price and we don't expect that there would be a material change in price here.

There is not a single cost-of-living measure that those opposite don't want to vote against, including making sure Australians pay less at the petrol bowser. (Time expired)

On a slightly different area of DK's portfolio, I note the following (attributed to) miniscule MR appointment announcement on 11 January 2024:

Quote:Inaugural High Speed Rail Authority CEO announced

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Timothy Parker as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA), following a merit based selection process.

Mr Parker has considerable leadership and project experience in delivering complex infrastructure projects to drive the development of high speed rail in Australia.

Mr Parker has over 30 years of experience in developing, procuring and delivering significant infrastructure projects including as the Head of Project for Sydney Metro since 2018, as well as having complex infrastructure experience working in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

The Australian Government has committed $500 million to facilitate a high speed rail network on Australia’s east coast starting with the Sydney to Newcastle section of the network.

HSRA is tasked with advising on, planning, developing and overseeing the construction and operation of this transformational network.

Proper planning is critical to the success of any significant infrastructure project and getting it right from the start will be of enormous benefit to this project in the future.

I look forward to working with Mr Parker in the CEO role and continuing to work with the HSRA Board to deliver HSRA’s key priority of planning and corridor works for the Sydney to Newcastle section of the high speed rail network.

Hmm...interesting because I now have to question Betsy's decision to let DK rubberstamp this appointment given the revelations contained in this SMH article... Rolleyes

Quote:Transport executive denies corrupting hiring process despite ‘substantial evidence’

Michael McGowan and Max Maddison February 23, 2024 — 9.14am

The bureaucrat hand-picked by the Albanese government to run its new high-speed rail authority was found to have engaged in “serious misconduct” as part of an investigation ordered by the NSW transport department into allegations of “conflicts of interest and … corrupt conduct”.

But those findings, part of a long-running series of internal probes into alleged misconduct by employees and contractors within the agency responsible for delivering NSW’s multibillion-dollar Metro rail projects, were later rejected by the same department as being “unsupported by tangible evidence”.

Details of the explosive allegations, some of which were later referred to the NSW anticorruption watchdog, are contained in documents obtained by the Herald.

They reveal that Tim Parker, a former Sydney Metro senior executive, was last year informed that allegations he breached government procurement and competition policies had been sustained, only for a later report to cast doubt on the findings.

Parker, who was unveiled last month as the inaugural chief executive of the Commonwealth’s new High-Speed Rail Authority, has rejected the claims, telling the Herald: “I deny the allegations. What was alleged did not happen.”

Last year, an investigation commissioned by Transport NSW found there was “substantial documentary and circumstantial evidence” that indicated Parker’s actions – along with those of two other senior employees at Sydney Metro – had “significantly compromised” the process behind the hiring of a contractor on an almost half-a-million dollar salary.

“[There] is sufficient evidence, on the balance of probabilities, to substantiate each of the two allegations and find that through his conduct, Mr Parker acted in breach of the Transport Code of Conduct,” the investigation found.

The trove of documents – released via a parliamentary order – detail a complex series of internal investigations into anonymous complaints that alleged “conflicts of interest and alleged corrupt conduct” in procurement and recruitment within Sydney Metro between October 2022 and February last year.

After receiving the complaints, Sydney Metro conducted an initial investigation, codenamed Elara, into a series of allegations against Parker and the two other employees.

The complaints included an allegation that Parker breached procurement rules by approving the employment of a senior work health and safety officer on a salary of more than $450,000 without conducting a mandatory tender. That preliminary investigation was provided to NSW Transport, Sydney Metro’s umbrella agency, which hired an external investigative firm to review the complaints against Parker and the two other employees.

That investigation, dated August 21 last year, sustained an allegation that in February 2022 Parker instructed a contractor within the agency to “create a role to accommodate herself” following the end of her involvement with Sydney Metro. The investigation report stated Parker was alleged to have “facilitated” the contractor in drafting the justification for the position, “negotiating an elevated pay grade” and “self-endorsing the creation of the role”.

The role, worth $459,056, was later taken up by the same contractor. That, it was alleged, was a breach of procurement rules, which required competitive tenders for engagements that were worth more than $150,000.

The investigation found that, while “an approach to market” was initiated for the job, “circumstantial evidence indicated that the actions of Mr Parker [and two other senior employees] significantly compromised this approach to market through their shared intent to have [the contractor] assume the newly created role without challenge”.

On that basis, it found there was “sufficient evidence, on the balance of probabilities” to substantiate the allegations against Parker. The breaches initially found against Parker related to ethical decision-making, conflicts of interest, and manager and staff responsibilities. But despite those findings, another document published by parliament shows NSW Transport later poured doubt on the report that it had commissioned.

A document marked “workplace conduct/disciplinary case summary” seen by the Herald states the findings were “unsupported by tangible evidence” and were “heavily reliant upon contextual evidence”.

Parker himself flatly denied the allegations against him when approached for comment.

He said that he had never seen the external investigation report or the later case summary that appeared to clear him. He said he had not been interviewed during the external investigation, and had instead been provided a “warning letter” by the agency and had requested a review of its findings which he believed had not been completed when he left Sydney Metro at the end of last year. He said he had only been able to provide a written statement.

MTF...P2 Tongue

PS: What a totally useless, smarmy, WOFTAM of a Minister - GOD SAVE OUR INDUSTRY - because Dicky King never will... Dodgy

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