Airports - Buy two, get one free.
#1

'Twas a sombre start to BRB last evening: item first, Bill Whitworth (Whitworth Aviation) has had a close encounter of the unpleasant kind with a CASA FOI and failed his MECIR with all the associated trimmings.  The number of IFR pilots Bill has trained and tested over a 40 (ish) year career must be in the many, many hundreds and I'd expect he would have struggled through some 50 or 60 ME IR 'proficiency' checks an equal number of Instructor rating renewals and a fair few revalidation of ATO delegations, not to mention Chief Pilot approvals etc.   Seems this is of no value – whatsoever; a technical, contentious fail is all that's needed.  Seems we have seen this stunt pulled before at Bankstown, by the same crew.  There are now some fairly hefty scalps on the managers belt, a couple escaped but not without bending the knee and kissing some ass.   Another great contribution to aviation safety made by the leading lights.  Seems there is no satisfying the rapacious appetite for decimating the ranks of senior, experienced C&T pilots.  No doubt the CASA spawned FTE will be taking over as they leave CASA, to "return to industry".   A little more to follow on this outrageous episode, as they say.
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Lighter topics followed, the evening kicked off with a 'guest' speaker who has, literally, a back room piled with full document boxes, all related to secondary airports and the associated 'development' thereof, Bankstown being the focus.   Now, I walked home scratching my head, for it was quite a story.  In fact, I'm still trying to take it all in, which is why I thought it was worth a twiddle on Pprune.  One thing was clear enough though, it would take ICAC (or similar) quite a while to untangle the 'corporate' side, which is murky and salted with tales of unpaid stamp duty and large sums of money slipping through the cracks.  Too much for my un-corporate wooden head, but the solid logic and first class research impressed.

The part that intrigued me was the 'joining of the dots'.  The picture I got was not one of 'conspiracy': being a follower of the duck up creed, the sceptic was to the fore, ready to decry the smallest chink or fluffy assumption.  I'll leave it up to you, here are the salient details offered as a series of potted questions:-
(i) Where in the Sydney basin would be an ideal place for a large property development?  The rider being, which council is developing 'river bank' areas as desirable life style projects.

(ii) Where in the Sydney basin is there a large open area suitable for development at a knock down price?
Clearly a no-brainer – Bankstown airport.  Next came a curly question to which extensive research provided an answer.

(iii) Where has the most odious of CASA action against industry occurred?, the rider being which part of the aerodrome has been most affected?

Again, no-brainer; Bankstown, under Chambers has become a kill zone, 3:1 the ratio compared to the least mauled secondary airport.

(iv) Where have the most contentious brawls related to lease and rent agreements emanated?   Same answer once again.

(v) Which airport has actually felt the weight of large trucks bearing fill and 'dozers to level it off.  Same answer once again.

(vi) Who was responsible for 'tweeking' the rules to accommodate the sale of our secondary airports, who was running the sell off show and who has extensive influence within the infrastructure governing 'airports'.  Well, it seems the Murky Machiavellian ticks all boxes.

I just don't know – it all makes sense in a weird way.   I can see why the man flogging off the assets would finesse the rules to suit those who purchased the land with a view to development.  I can even just about swallow a line that 'assistance' to reduce the number of movements and operations at airports to support a case for closing the now useless aerodromes was on offer.  I can even manage the logic that CASA has been used to target Bankstown operators making life as miserable and difficult as possible.  A five year plan is routine for this scale of operation, but to take over an airport by stealth, 'discourage' operators ,render it useless and build on it, well it's possible.  The tail end of the 'briefing' listed the statutes, rules, regulations and tenets of decency which have been treated with contempt and manipulated, it is extensive.

Just dunno what to make of it all; it's a working hypothesis and certainly food for thought, but, has it got legs?.
Anyway: FWIW - Handing over.

Don't shoot the messenger, I just thought it was worth airing the topic.  BRB 50/50 spilt, dead even and no discussion afterwards.  That, stand alone is remarkable, no doubt it will keep till next time. 
 


Toot toot....
. Smile
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#2

Ah yes the great airport land-grab another -almost certain - of the Aviation Mandarin's shams...   Sad   

Now let me see I did a couple of UP posts that followed & complimented Kharon's post... Huh

Part One: BRB hypothesis - Mandarin(s) Grand Plan for GA extinction 

{Warning: The following has long passages of Senate Estimates Hansard but in the interest of continuity it is important to include.} 

Quote:{Note: In reference to the Bar Room Barrister's hypothesis as put fwd in Kharon's post - Two more for the miniscule pot.}

IMO there is much merit in the BRB hypothesis especially in light of some recent events & non-events...

So going along with the hypothesis it is first worth going back in time - to around October 2011 - where with the inspired appointments of McComic and muppet Beaker it appeared the Grand Plan was going along swimmingly...

The combined M&M committed team had just successfully obfuscated - with the aid of aviation hater Albo - one lone & independent Senator's *1 attempt to shine the spotlight on the MOAS and the GWM trough...

*1{NB: With the aid of one old grumpy Laborial but dis-credited Senator..}

M&M would have also thought he had the measure of a certain group of disgruntled IOS members - who were persistently banging on about Archerfield's proposed 2011-31 Master Plan - especially when he had already pencilled in on the dotted line Albo's signature.

Little was he to know that the Archerfield Chamber of Commerce (ACC) Inc. group would continue to persist and that a certain well informed, aviation savvy Senator was about to enter the fray...

So back to the Sup Estimates 2011 which started with Senator Fawcett questioning the Aviation & Airports mob - post
#1638
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Next was ASA with DF opening up with this... :


Quote:


Quote:Senator FAWCETT: Gentlemen, I take it Airservices Australia is still responsible for producing aeronautical publications.


Mr Russell: Yes, indeed.

Senator FAWCETT: In the WikiLeaks revelation that the FAA audit highlighted, one of their concerns was that navigation charts produced in Australia were not compliant with international standards. Do you have any comment on that revelation?

Mr Russell: I in particular do not, but my colleagues may. Mr Harfield, do you?

Mr Harfield: There were a number of issues raised in the audit where ICAO came in and had a look. The issue was that the standards that were portrayed were recommended practices. Our order was that we met all the requirements that we had to under the ICAO auspices, and therefore the issues that were brought up were just differences. We have worked through those and we have come to what I would say is a common understanding in ensuring that our practices do meet the ICAO regulations.

Senator FAWCETT: I will ask the same question of CASA later, but it strikes me that a number of things have come to the surface as a result of this ICAO/FAA audit. Do we not have an internal process within Australia where somebody who is knowledgeable but independent audits on a regular basis the product of Airservices?

Mr Harfield: There is an audit function that is carried out by CASA. One of the deficiencies that was found in the ICAO audit was that we do not currently have regulations in place for aeronautical information services and the regulation thereof, but there is a process already underway to establish those regulations.

Senator FAWCETT: What is the timeline for that?

Mr Harfield: You will have to take that up with CASA.

Senator FAWCETT: Even though you are doing it?

Mr Harfield: We are the service provider of the publications. We have input into it but, for the regulatory time frame for the regulations to come into effect, you would have to ask CASA. I am unaware of what the actual time frame is.

Senator FAWCETT: On a slightly different topic, do you still act on behalf of CASA to develop departure approach plates as part of the AIP publications for aircrew?

Mr Harfield: We are certified under CASA regulation part 173 to actually design and produce instrument approaches.

Senator FAWCETT: If there were a building development in a capital city that pushed the floor of the PANS-OPS criteria higher, you would be then required to modify approach plates?

Mr Harfield: If that was an approved variation and the PANS-OPS was varied then we would have to go back and revalidate the instrument approach. The instrument approach would have to then be authorised by not only our chief designer but also CASA. It has to be flight tested and approved but still has to stay within the approved design criteria.

Senator FAWCETT: I am happy for you to take this on notice if you need to, but could you come back to the committee with any situations where you have had to revise your PANS-OPS criteria as a result of urban development or city development in either the Brisbane or Sydney areas in particular, or anywhere in Australia, but particularly those two?

Mr Russell: We will take that on notice. There have been some issues that I would like to make sure we get right.

Senator FAWCETT: Could you expand on that, please, Mr Russell, and tell the committee what those issues have been.

Mr Russell: It is urban encroachment on major airports. I think you are probably pointing this way. In Sydney, for instance, there are a number of high-rises around the airport that fall into this category. There are a number of infrastructure developments close to the airport, again, that fall into this category. If we could have some time to research this properly, we will come back to you on notice if we may.

Mr Harfield: I just want to provide some clarity. What we will do is provide information where there has been a redesign or a variation as a result of a change being put in. We do not have the authority to change PANS-OPS criteria. I just wanted to make that clear.

Senator FAWCETT: Yes, I understand that. With the issues you are working through, Mr Russell, do you feel as though there are appropriate checks and balances in place such that, if a developer does actually put forward a proposal, the operator, CASA and Air Services Australia have opportunity in a transparent way to register their opposition to something which is going to adversely affect the operational capacity of an airport and the requirements of airlines to actually fly steeper gradients during departures or approaches?

Which is where for some strange reason M&M chimed in: Quote:


Quote:Mr Mrdak: This is an area of growing concern for us, as the department acknowledged before the dinner break. Mr Russell, Mr McCormick and I, as the aviation policy group, which is the CEOs of the aviation agencies, have discussed this issue at length. We have recognised the need to improve the processes involved in judging and advising. Also in relation to the point you raised, to some degree the aviation industry has worked hard to accommodate in the past some of these breaches of services. I think we have reached the point where we believe we can no longer do that. Hence there is some work happening at the moment where we have established a group of officers from our respective departments and agencies which is now working on a much more robust approach to, firstly, identifying potential breaches. As you know there are regulations under the Airports Act which provide for protection of prescribed airspace. How do we better identify those, how do we ensure that local and state governments are aware of it and how do we as the agencies get together much more effectively to make sure that those breaches of the services are no longer accommodated in the way that they have been?

Senator FAWCETT: Do you have a time frame for that work?

Mr Mrdak: Our officers have started talking about this in some detail. I expect that the next couple of months is when we will try and provide a much better approach to how we have handled this to date.

Senator FAWCETT: Do you have any plans for industry involvement so that they can have some input as to how their perspective can be incorporated?

Mr Mrdak: We certainly will. We have not got to that stage as yet. I think the first stage is for our officers to identify exactly what the current processes are and where the weaknesses are. That will then enable us to design a better way to handle this. As Mr Doherty and Mr Stone indicated in the evidence from the department a little earlier, this is an area which we are taking up with a great deal of strength with the states and their planning agencies.

Senator FAWCETT: I am very pleased to hear that. Could you take on notice to provide to the committee how industry will be involved, particularly how feedback around an application is transparent so that, rather than just being told consultation has occurred but not knowing whether all the submissions were positive or negative, industry know whether they are a lone voice or everyone else supported their position but, for some reason, the decision has gone the other way? That would be very useful.

Mr Mrdak: Certainly.

Then back to the subject of airports with CAsA which garnered a rather predictable response from Cromarty (in bold): Quote:


Quote:Senator FAWCETT: I do not believe that they were necessarily seeking compensation for it but I am happy to take that offline with you. Moving to some separate issues, we have had a number of operators from both Bankstown and Archerfield in particular talk to us about concerns around commercial development on airfields. The secretary and I have had some discussions in previous sessions around the different agencies that are involved in this, and CASA is clearly a key player in this space. The concerns that industry are coming back to us with are that either CASA is not being listened to or CASA is not concerned about some of the developments. Would you care to comment on how you see CASA's role in the current construct and whether you feel that CASA is empowered so that if you do see a safety concern, be it something in the OLS that is affecting operations at an airport or the PANS-OPS criteria more broadly, you have the remit and the authority to say no or if at the moment all you can do is make a recommendation.

Mr McCormick: I appreciate there has been quite a bit of discussion about this already and I will allow the secretary to speak if he wishes. We have heads of power for safety issues. If there is something that affects safety, we do have some ability to do things. We do not have any role to play in the planning environment or the infrastructure environment. Perhaps Mr Mrdak will say a few words on that.

Mr Mrdak: It comes back to my earlier comments. We recognise this is an area where there is a renewed focus by the agencies. The white paper certainly set out the need to safeguard and protect aviation activity. There is a very heightened focus by the government. We are undertaking the master planning process for the leased airports in this area, and we are looking to work much more closely with CASA than we have in the past.

Senator FAWCETT: With respect, Secretary, I am comfortable with your position. I am greatly heartened by it. I am keen to hear from CASA's perspective where they would like to see their position in all of this, because in the safety role you have a key part to play in preserving the efficacy, the efficiency and the safety of particularly our secondary airports.

Mr McCormick: We do take that very seriously. I will ask Peter Cromarty, Executive Manager of Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation, to give you a few more technical points on where we are.

Mr Cromarty: I think the issue boils down to the point that the aerodrome is a piece of infrastructure which is owned by somebody, quite often the local council, and the council has to take a commercial decision between what they consider to be, in relative terms, the benefit of whatever the development is that they want to put on the aerodrome and the benefit of the aviation infrastructure. As far as CASA are concerned, we have very few powers to restrict developments of the nature you are talking about.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept that from a development perspective, but MOS 139 and other regulations point to the fact that the primary concern is the safety and the ongoing utility of the airport as an air operating environment, both the airspace and the surface, to make sure there is continuing access. And the lease that the Commonwealth has signed with airports such as Bankstown and Archerfield, as the two that are in question at the moment, go to the fact that we need to preserve that safe operating environment. What people come back to us with frequently is: 'If CASA has not objected then we are good to go.' What we do not see in the public space is a transparent record of what CASA's position has been. For example, with runway 28R at Archerfield, when people have had concerns about the new corporate hangars and the Warbird hangars, what has CASA's position been? Do you have concerns about the IFR take-offs, the restricted runway length and the potential impact of someone doing an overshoot off the 28 RNAV?

Mr Cromarty: As I understand it, the situation at Archerfield was that the hangar was in a position where it was at the precise point where there was an anomaly between the obstacle limitation surfaces and the PANS-OPS surfaces. Now, when I was watching the committee broadcast earlier, I heard there was some question about the diligence we had put into this. I can assure you we spent a huge amount of time trying to come to a compromise position which would allow the airport to continue to operate as it had done and comply with the regulations that we could comply with. In the end, Airservices and CASA came to a compromise position, a conservative position, which facilitated the airport's operations yet also enabled us to comply as we could with the contradictory requirements of the ICAO standards.

"As far as Bankstown is concerned, the withdrawal of a runway, as I said before, is a commercial decision for the airport; and, provided the airport in all considerations complies with MOS part 139, then CASA is satisfied."

Senator FAWCETT: So you are satisfied that there are suitable options for a student pilot flying a Cessna with a 10 knot cross-wind limit to land in adverse wind conditions, in a north-southerly or a northerly wind in the Sydney Basin?

Mr Cromarty: I would say flying ops is not my area. However, having been a flying instructor I would say that it is the instructor's responsibility to make sure that the student can fly in the conditions they are flying in.

Senator FAWCETT: Conditions do vary, so that is not necessarily a fail-safe. Coming back to runway 28 at Archerfield, you talked about that overlap between the two points. It does not take away from the fact, though, that the information that is provided, for example into the en-route sub—because it is only a registered airfield as opposed to a certified airfield—comes from the operator and the description of 150 used in that equation, as opposed to the 180 from my readings of the MOS and the tables in there, particularly 7.1-2, appears to be an error. Yet that appears to be the basis of the take-off requirement. Is there any other circumstance in Australia where the compromise you have referred to of having to keep that obstacle visual during an IFR take-off has been applied, or is that unique to Archerfield?

Mr Cromarty: Not that I am aware of, no.

Senator FAWCETT: So it is unique, it is unusual, but it maybe accounts for the take-off. But what about the overshoot case, where somebody has come off the 28 RNAV, is forced to do an overshoot because of heavy rain and so does not have visual contact with what is now quite a large obstacle that intrudes into the airspace?

Mr Cromarty: May I take that on notice and get the definitive answer for you?

Senator FAWCETT: Please do, but it just highlights the fact that the system of oversight—putting safety ahead of the commercial interest—has broken down and there are operators who are at risk because of that breakdown in the system.

Mr McCormick: I do not think that is correct. I am not sure that that is the case and that we necessarily agree with that.

Senator FAWCETT: I will be happy to see your answer on notice because, as I read the various publications, that is the situation I am led to understand to be the case. That is certainly also the contention of the operating fraternity at Archerfield.

Mr McCormick: If the question on notice has some specificity about what you want addressed, we will certainly get you the answer.

Senator FAWCETT: I will also be placing some questions on notice about the runway and safety area on 28 right about the culvert and the development of the auction site within the public safety area as defined by the Queensland government and the fact that that is not as advertised originally. There are significant obstacles, large plant, in that area.

Finally we have Beaker who also essentially obfuscates responsibility for safety risk mitigation at secondary airports...:
Quote:


Quote:Senator FAWCETT: Undoubtedly, you have been following the proceedings for the last couple of hours—

Mr Dolan: I have.

Senator FAWCETT: so you probably know exactly where I am heading. Your name has been taken in vain around Archerfield and the concern around runway 28 right there. With your report 38 of 2008 you did great work in identifying discrepancies in needing to move forward. I have a few questions to try to get some details on the table. Your report has been used to essentially say there was a discrepancy and that is being addressed but there is no safety issue. NOTAM C250/07, which was mentioned in your report, requires a reduction in the TORA and TODA for runway 28 right for IFR departures from 1,400 to 1,095 metres. If there was only a discrepancy and there was no issue, why was a NOTAM necessary?

Mr Dolan: There was a potential safety issue in terms of the location of the hangar which led to the intervention in terms of the shortening of the usable runway. Perhaps it is worth taking a step back. You have clearly read the report. The terms of reference that were set were limited. The questions we were trying to address were: first of all, was there a problem with the obstacle limitation surface as it was in place following adjustments in the light of the construction of the hangar? Secondly, there was the problem of the actual design of the departure. We still take the view that at the time we were looking at it, the obstacle limitations surfaces and how they operated for the airport were safe. If one were doing this from zero, one would probably not have constructed the hangar where it is, but we were satisfied that the steps that had been taken to ensure safety operated well and that the instrument departure design was sound in itself but did very much highlight a problem with the ICAO standards and a need for clarification.

The reason we limited it to that was that we have received through our confidential reporting system some quite specific concerns about those issues. I want to make clear, the limits were placed for good reasons on what was available to us at the time. I understand that other issues have been raised since, but they had not been raised with us.

Senator FAWCETT: So noting the limited terms of reference and constraints put on you and just coming to the actual report then, one of the mitigating circumstances was obviously a reduction in the length of the runway. That NOTAM has subsequently been rescinded and the notes that were on the airfield charts have been removed. Other than the ERSA supplement which still identifies that restriction, a lot of the other things that would normally be required under the MOS, such as 'distance to run available' type signage, are not present at Archerfield. Do you consider that is still a safety issue?

Mr Dolan: I would have to say that since the completion of that report we have not done any further review. This sort of investigation is at the margins of what we would normally do. The issues in play here are essentially regulatory. We have not had any occurrences reported to us that I am aware of—and Mr Walsh may correct me on that. We have got no basis in terms of our normal system of getting information about safety occurrences in the system to say that something needs another look.

Senator FAWCETT: I understand and accept that. The problem that we are facing is that it is a case of following the bouncing ball, and the bouncing ball tends to rest with the ATSB report, and people say that there is no problem because ATSB said so. I guess I am just trying to extract all the information I can about the basis of your report limitations if you report perceptions of people who may have contributed to the report, because that informs us where we perhaps need to look elsewhere.

The mitigation that was put in place in terms of CASA's compromise, as they called it, to say that as long as the hangar was visible during the first part of a takeoff that was acceptable, clearly does not apply to somebody who is on approach to land and has a bolt landing perhaps due to a heavy rain shower such that the pilot is low-level. If you actually look at the IFR flyover clearance requirements, we are talking very flat, clear requirements in that scenario and the hangar is clearly in the space where that is going to become an issue. From the ATSB's perspective, did you consider that as part of your report?

Mr Dolan: No, we did not, Senator. As I say, the information available to us at the time was focused on departure not on approach. There is nothing in our report that would cast light on that issue you have raised.

Senator FAWCETT: My last question before the chair moves me on is talking around departures. I notice on page 3 of your report, where you talk about the turn initiation area, you describe in the PANS-OPS terms things like the obstacle identification surface and 150 metres which is normally the inner edge running along. Under the old MOS 139 it was table 7-1 and under the new one it is table 10-1. Table 10-2 applies to take-offs whereas table 10-1 applies to landings. The figure of 150 is relevant for approach runway considerations for a code 3 runway. For a code 3 runway for departures it is actually 180 metres. Would you care to comment on that discrepancy, given that, as you said, your investigation focused on departures as opposed to arrivals?

Mr Dolan: On the basis of what I have in front of me, I do not think I am in a position to comment.

Senator FAWCETT: Please take that on notice and whether whoever worked on that area of the report could explain the different numbers between the various versions of MOS. He could explain whichever one he wishes to use.

Mr Dolan: I would be very happy to take that on notice. There are two things to come back to this committee based on the view we come to on that consideration. It is always open to us, if additional information comes to light, to reopen one of our investigations if that is necessary. I am not undertaking to do that, but I am certainly undertaking to consider it if necessary.

Senator FAWCETT: Thank you.

Hmm..and with Beaker's former association with the Department's Airports Division in the drawing up of secondary airport lease agreements - in particular Hoxton Park - you begin to see that there is definitely a lot to like about the BRB hypothesis...

And therefore much..much MTF...

  
Part two coming up.... Tongue
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#3

Part two:  BRB hypothesis - poohtube interlude

Quote:Quote:


Quote:Kharon - ...a Heff initiative, ICAC and airports, as an aside almost, to the main topic which was the possibility of asbestos contamination of the land filled flood plain at Bankstown. As I don't know the bloke very well, I just let it slide past. But now I wonder – given the recent AFP keen interest in matters aeronautical, if the blow torch is at least lit; if not yet applied, in earnest.

Hmm...very interesting...    Kind of puts the link I provided (above) to the Additional Estimates of 2013 (from page 64) into the frame...  
Or for those that are less enamoured with the written record of Hansard...

  
RRAT Estimates 12/02/2013: Aviation&Airports - Bankstown


Quote:With that and the Kharon quote all ties in quite nicely with this from Heff...



Quote:As an aside with the mention of ICAC I found the following SMH article quite topical...: National ICAC needed to probe federal politicians, says NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption counsel Geoffrey Watson, SC,

Wonder if they shouldn't extend that to include Federal Mandarins...

MTF... Shy


I'll be back... Cool
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#4

The Heff on Bankstown Airport, contaminated landfill, floodplains & dodgy deals:

{Note: The following performance from 'The Heff' last night (24 Feb) at Estimates flows on quite nicely from my last post cause yet again that smug bugger Wilson was in the Chair's crosshairs...love it!  Rolleyes }

 

Ps Hope you didn't miss the Heff's comment about going to the potplants... Big Grin

MTF... Tongue
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#5

Not sure where to post this, perhaps the Ferryman can assist? Anyway, it seems that the somewhat childish 'Minister for bad teeth' isn't too sad to see 'Max the axe' resign from his comfortable tax exempt billion dollar enterprise, Sydney airport;

SMH

Never mind, neither of them are really stellar performers, I mean neither liked the idea of spending money on the wonderfully congested and outdated infrastructure, and both of them enjoyed making the airport a political toy to be played with when they were bored with their other toys or they had broken them! And that photo in the SMH is uncanny as Albo and Max could be twins, look at Max, he has the Albo extra chin and the same 'advanced hair yeah yeah' style haircut. Personally many of us have been waiting to tweet 'good' to Albo also as he sails off into the sunset, but alas, there are still many taxpayer troughs to be plundered by the Minister for Mascot before that day arrives. Many of the IOS have had to dodge Albo's robust elephant droppings for years and were quite frankly sick of it. But then we inherited the 'Minister for bad skin', Herr Truss, and the tautology surrounding Sydney airport has continued, plus we now have to dodge his dingo and emu droppings!

Oink oink..... Exclamation ..
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#6

AN AIRPORTS TALE.

Early last week a presentation was given at Bankstown Airport.  About thirty people were in attendance.
The meeting was allegedly held to inform and educate us about developments on the southern side of Bankstown Airport. What we were confronted with was a very slick PR presentation by Leda Holdings, a property developer. The presentation was more designed to make politicians and local councils salivate over the dollars on offer, rather than provide aircraft business operators, about to lose a quarter of their useable airport , the benefits of the grand scheme.   
The theme was the urban utopia the developers are intending to create o ver almost a quarter of the available land at Bankstown Airport. Never once, not during the entire presentation was aviation mentioned in any way.  Seems it is fate accompli; a done deal.

One quarter of the airport is to be developed for the benefit of property sharks, no consideration of or benefit to is given to aircraft business operators, the airport users.  To say the meeting became somewhat confrontational, is a slight understatement.

Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning for Bankstown as an airport and for that matter all secondary airports in Australia? Has the value of the airport real estate reached a point where the temptation to succumb to the siren call of the property sharks money become too strong for the Pollies to resist? 

Prior to 1998 all secondary airports in Australia were owned by the people of Australia.
All revenues from those airports paid by the users was “Net Profit” to the government, the airports were costing the government and the people of Australia nothing, in fact they were making the government money, but it would seem not enough.

Let’s have a little look at some history. In 1998 the Federal Government, for whatever reason became desperate to sell off all secondary airports around Australia, but were having trouble attracting a buyer. So the story goes, a certain Mr. MrDak, a consummate bureaucrat, know to us all by his alias as the “Murky Machiavellian”, and his side kick none other than a Mr.“ The Beaker”, Dolan esquire another career bureaucrat of current ATSB fame, were tasked with getting rid of the airports at any cost. Ultimately deal was struck with McBank, one of the most ethical and moral banks in Australia to act as honest brokers.   The three secondary airports in the Sydney basin were to be leased, rumor has it, for$230,000,000 or there about.  Nobody knows what Mc Banks commissions were, but some would say the bank directors were eyeing off their new top of the range Mercedes.

The Federal Airports Corporation (FAC), the wholly owned Federal Government company, at that time administered the secondary airports. Under direction from the “Murky Machiavellian” an “ beaker, Dolan. A public, unlisted company was floated with two government ministers as the directors and shareholders.  The company was called “Bankstown Airports Limited” or BAL for short.

At the time a Mr. Ian Ferrier Esquire, a liquidator by profession, was chairman of the FAC and Mr Barry Thompson was general manager.  They negotiated leases between the airports and its tenants which were later transferred to BAL, who secured the airports under a lease arrangement with the Federal Government.  BAL was transferred to a McBank engineered Consortium of multiple companies owned by various high profile property developers and identities including Nathan Tinkler, and rumor has it, people with ties to the Obied family.

After a suitable period of grace BAL tore up the airport leases and increased airport tenants rents by, in some cases over a 1000% and those rents have continued to rise as the years went by.  It may be of interest to readers that Mr. Ferrier is chairman of Goodmans who just happen to be the owners of Moorabbin airport in Melbourne. 

Goodmans are also property developers.   They are the builders of the massive Toll Freight depot at Bankstown, which in contravention of the head lease from the Federal Government resulted in the destruction of several taxiways, or aviation infrastructure.

The airports are State government land under the control of the Federal Government. Bankstown airport has a State Government Lot and portfolio number, therefore State Law applies and this fact is stated in the head lease between BAL and the Federal Government.  There is evidence the building approvals for this building were issued by BAL itself, in contravention of State Law....   Any questions Milud?

Was NSW Government Stamp Duty Paid on the original transaction between BAL and the Federal Gov.?  A clause in the Commonwealth lease signed by BAL says it must be, but was it??  Its passing strange the lease document does not seem to have a State Government Stamp?? 

Now I’m only an amateur but could BAL produce that in a court of law unstamped?? Passing strange that all documents relating to the secondary airports in the Sydney basin have conveniently and mysterially disappeared from State government archives.   Who was in power in NSW at the time?? Eddie O’bied?? .....Na, course not, or was he? Not to worry a big mate of his was.

Interesting that Mr. Carr left NSW politics to become??  Oh surprise, surprise….A director of Mc Bank the most ethical, moral bank in the world.....Wow Bob, as a journalist and politician (core skill required. Being able to Lie convincingly) you sure must have bought a wealth of….err? expertise to the running of a bank.  After sterling service as a director with McBank, where we have been told, turning up for board meetings was entirely optional, he departed the bank for federal politics with a nice little farm in New Zealand as a bonus.

Did Mc Bank save $12 Million or so in NSW stamp duty??

The lease signed between the Federal Government and an entity created specifically for the purpose BAL, by Mr. MrDak and Mr. Dolan, eventually became owned by a convoluted web of companies who are??? ...Surprise, Surprise? mainly involved in property development.   Now I don’t know, but I’ve heard valuation of Bankstown airport, as Greenfield freehold land slap dab in the centre of Sydney, could run to billions.  Logic tells me that billions of dollars would be a hell of a temptation to property developers.  That sort of money could attract a wealth of corruption, something property developers from past experience in NSW, seem to have an affinity with.
In the State of NSW there was a long history of corruption between property developers and Government to the point where special laws were put in place to make it difficult for property developers to corrupt public officials, especially politicians.

Ah. But the secondary airports are owned by the Federal government and these anti- corruption laws therefore do not apply, or do they? So the secondary airports, in essence owned by the public and which were operated for the benefit of the public were sold to property developers at vastly undervalued prices.

None of the proceeds, not one single dollar, received by the federal government were ever spend on the promotion or advancement of General Aviation, the $230 Million disappeared into consolidated revenue, never to be seen again.
So what benefit did General Aviation receive from the sale of their secondary airports?

Nothing.

In fact General Aviation went backwards, because in the Sydney basin they lost one of their airports.
As part of the deal with Mc Bank, Hoxton Park was closed and sold off, with a little creative accounting, because unfortunately the Commonwealth didn’t have title over all the land.

Not to worry massage the law a tad, conveniently ignore the odd embarrassing fact and in go the bulldozers to rip up the runway and a massive warehouse distribution center for Woolworths is created
I am told Hoxton netted $230,000,000 for BAL or about what was paid for all three airports.
Wow!!McBank that pillar of ethical moral banking, got their money back at a stroke, and the aviation Industry loses one of their airports.

The Mc Bank directors live happily ever after with their new Mercs and some cash in the bank from their bonuses. Thank you general aviation!
Poor General Aviation! only consolation is déjà view, the people who used to complain about noise from the odd light aircraft now have to endure the noise of 24/7 truck traffic clogging their urban streets as they pass their bedroom windows around the Hoxton area.

The $230,000,000, where did that go?? Nobody knows, maybe to some holding company in Bermuda?

Is that how Mascot airport can turn over a billion dollars a year for the past ten years and not pay a cent in tax?
Wow these airports are a nice little tax free earner earner.  Bankstown and Camden Airports remain, while the development sharks circle. All that stands between them and billions is an ever decreasing number of aviation businesses which can no longer afford the exorbitant rents and are either closing their doors or relocating to airports outside the Sydney basin.   Imagine the developers frustration, all that land, just sitting there waiting to be converted into money but their attempts to price aviation to leave frustrated by a bunch of stalwart stayers. 

The head lease indicates that the airports were to be reserved for aviation use.

The utility of the airports for aviation was not to be tampered with. Yet it has been in contravention of the head lease.
That the lessee must maintain ALL aviation infrastructure in its original condition, which it hasn’t.
Further, any development at the airport could not impede future growth of the aviation industry, recognizing that as an industry, aviation requires a runway to operate from, it cannot just move down the road to another location if their landlord with a monopoly gets greedy.

Rents at the airport rise by 1000 of percent way above off airport prices per square meter, and continue to rise to ridiculous levels, on very short term lease, not exactly an inducement for anyone to invest in an aviation business at the airport.

Non-aviation businesses of which there are many, pay the going local rate, which I guess keeps the cash flow going until aviation is finally finished.   Them as can, desert the airport in droves, finding homes in surrounding airports like Wollongong, Bathurst and Cessnock, outside the Sydney basin, they have growth at these places because of the impositions of a capricious landlord with a monopoly over choices at Bankstown. It becomes cheaper to keep your aircraft hangered in Bathurst and ferry in and out of Bankstown than to pay BAL’s exorbitant fees.
The Airports utility goes backwards again, losing several taxiways and an emergency North South runway at Bankstown, vital for a training airport in case student pilots returning from the training area are confronted with crosswinds beyond their capabilities.

They are now faced with attempting to land in conditions beyond the safe limits of their aircraft or divert to Mascot and disrupting airline operations. It could be said that this situation has led to one or two accidents, fortunately none fatal.  Passing strange that the North South runway when it existed made development of vacant land on the southern side of the airport impossible.

The shark’s circle, there’s blood in the water.

They can take bites out of the periphery of the airport by producing robust master plans and lobby Politician’s to agree to them, slowly reducing the utility of the airports and closing the door to any future expansion the aviation Industry may need in the future.

The closure of the North South runway in contravention of the head lease gives them a really big bite, around a quarter of the airport they claim is “Surplus” land. Some four years ago Bankstown Airport Limited began dumping un remediated, contaminated land fill on the flood plane on the southern side of the airport.  All sorts of rumors abound about where this fill came from.   What is known and has been admitted to at a Senate inquiry, the fill is contaminated with asbestos.    It has also been suggested that radio active material was also dumped there either from contaminated Hunters Hill material or from a brick works site.

We’ll know for sure when shoppers at the new factory outlet start glowing in the dark.

The purpose of this dumping was obviously to build the land up above historic flood levels to prepare the land for development.   This was done without any form of official environmental approval, and was in fact illegal under state law because altering flood planes can have all sorts of adverse affects to people downstream.
BAL wrote their own unsigned environmental approvals using commonwealth government letterheads for the dumping of this contaminated land fill!!  Err scuse me but is that legal? aint that fraud??

They have exposed existing airport users and surrounding residents to asbestos and possibly radio active contamination and residents downstream along the Georges river of not only more severe flooding but of flood waters containing some fairly nasty stuff.

In addition Bankstown airport is already contaminated ground. There is live ammunition and explosives buried all over the airport from the second world war.  Unlikely I know, but someone’s Aunty, innocently shopping, could vanish with a loud bang “Explosion in Aisle three, clean up crew to aisle three!!”

Coincidences, coincidences.
It’s an interesting coincidence that during this time, the Murky Machiavellian now in charge of the department of infrastructure and transport and therefore the puppet master for The Civil Aviation Safety Authority oversaw the Federal government authority embark on a project to rewrite Australia’s aviation regulations.

Twenty years and some $250 million and counting has been spend to generate a completely unique rule set that even blind Freddie would recognize as being unworkable and unaffordable by the Industry.

Took New Zealand only a couple of years and a few million to produce what is recognized as one of the best rule sets in the world which is being adopted all over the Pacific and now into other places outside our region.
Far from CAsA’s claims of being a world leader, they are in fact dysfunctional clowns and Australia has become an international joke in aviation circles.

I have heard comment on the airways “Australia is the only third world country where you can drink the water”
The recently invoked Part 61 regulations are widely viewed as the beginning of the end for General Aviation in Australia, massive costs and over regulation imposed on an already impoverished industry. Two thousand pages of gobbledygook to define something the Kiwis and Americans can in about 80 pages.  This will be followed soon by thousands more in the new Part 135 regulation suite.  Part 61 was designed to bring the GA industry to its knees, part135 will deliver the coup de grace.

Why you say? What possible motive could they have for destroying an industry?  I and quite a few others would say a few billion or so reasons.  One of the senior members of the controlling iron ring of CAsA has publicly stated that his intention was that the only aviation to occur in Australia would be the RAAF and airlines.

With a billion dollars worth of real estate at Bankstown alone, even without the other capital city secondary airports, there is one hell of a motive for getting rid of general aviation and closing secondary airports.
There is no political will to foster Aviation and its obvious why.

Mr. MrDak is the relevant ministers “Sir Humphrey”   He controls what the minister see’s and signs. Another “Master Plan” or “Master Con” turns up from an airport Operator simply gets signed, the minister assured its Kosher.
In Western Australia the Airport Operator even suggested they would build another General Aviation Airport another thirty miles further from the city if they were allowed a free hand at Jandakot Airport.

Mr. MrDak obviously thought that was a tad premature and not according to the “Real” master plan.
We are an Industry impoverished by a corrupt incompetent regulator, unaccountable to anyone including our parliament. We have neither the money nor the political profile to compete with the property sharks who’s enormous financial recourses grease the wheels and corrupt the processes.
They beguile a gullible public with the promise of an urban Utopia, employing thousands, that all the residents of an area will benefit from.

In reality of course when they have taken the money and left Mr and Mrs Joe Public will benefit the same as the Aviation Industry.   With Nothing.

Bankstown Airport has existed for over 70 years. In its existence trained countless highly qualified engineers, pilots and other professionals who have gone on to make a massive contribution to the development of Australia.
The airport has created and nurtured businesses that have employed thousands, contributing to the national wealth of Australia. Given a chance it could become a driving force for Australian Industry.

It has no chance with Development sharks circling its airports biting ever increasing chunks from their peripheries and a regulator hell bent on having nothing left to regulate.
The Aviation Industry in New Zealand, because they have a competent regulator, is now their second biggest contributor to their GDP.

There is no reason Australia could not emulate New Zealand except for the lack of political will and an intractable regulator, set in the past, inured with a military doctrine and massive ego’s, that they order, we obey.
Until CAsA are bought to heel, and dragged kicking and screaming into the real world and forced to regulate for the benefit of those they regulate, there is no hope for any advancement in the aviation Industry in Australia, to the detriment of our national well being.

For that very reason, knowing the industry is weak and vulnerable, the property sharks circle, certain that ultimately our depleted industry will succumb and be defenseless to their attacks.
What do the current industry nemesis at Bankstown offer??

They bleed the industry of more and more dollars, illegally compromise the integrity and utility of our airports, contribute to endemic corruption, place the entire community at risk from asbestos exposure, destroy a flood plain placing downstream landholders in jeopardy should a future flood occur, and when they have achieved their aim, made their billions and left??

What benefit befalls the aviation Industry, the wider community and the nation??

Zero, Zilch, None.
Reply
#7

Looking back over "K" post #1, the longer this all runs, the more detailed information is unearthed, the more complex and worrying for the government briefs the Archerfield case becomes; and, given the antics of the wannabe tycoons in suits and the despicable property sharks; the more it seems likely the BRB theory is bang on the money (good night that one).

Perhaps Com-bank can force the issue by offering strata deals to the aviation industry tenants to save face and recoup; because the way it looks right now, someone is going to get a stag night haircut. A sensible lease /strata title deal would reduce the fiscal embarrassment, there is some serious money involved. But, as Thorny says, despite all the monies; incoming and outgoing, not a brass razoo spent to make Bankstown a model of modern day, capitol city secondary airport. Quite different to the hugely successful London city project, which required brains, vision and courage to wrest away from the sharks, in shiny suits to become a vital, profitable venture. Sad, but true.

There is a rumour Heff has called in ICAC and Merde'k has a sweaty top lip. I wonder if ICAC being a state instrument has the clout (or political will) to do anything, especially this close to an election?. Passing strange neither major party wants to use the potential ammunition, too many chances of the whole thing becoming public and more red faced resignations in the breeze perhaps?.

The Murky Machiavellian crew seem to treat the Senate with amused contempt but what about a ministerial inquiry? it appears, prima facie, that there has been some very serious tinkering with the 'rules' and definitions of original lease terms. Segue to a Sunday newspaper story: one of the deliberate attempt to shut down a productive industry simply to keep the likes of Bob Carr and his mates in farms and platinum credit cards, what a tale. Probably make a movie of it, it's a lot better story than some of the rubbish they screen.

Oh what a tangled web - etc. Walter Scott (Marmion).
Reply
#8

Little gem of a rumor doing the rounds.
BAL is spruiking that they have a buyer for Bankstown Airport!!
Seems a Chinese company with the usual connections to the Chinese Government, is rather keen to invest in Australian real estate,as it would seem is half of China's population.
I always thought the inconvenient truth was that Australian airports could not be foreign owned?
Didn't seem to matter much with Mascot however as the head lease holder resides in the Bahamas, but that may just a ploy to avoid paying tax? seems to work very well but, a billion a year in turnover and not a $ paid in tax. All very legal of course.
The Murky Macavellian managed to manipulate a way around most of the inconvenient clauses in the head leases for the secondary airports to facilitate the property sharks, wonder how he's going to manage the foreign ownership one?
Stood to reason I guess, with Billions of dollars at stake, and I would imagine a payoff that would make his yearly million buck salary pale into insignificance, where there is a will there is a way.
Reply
#9

The Murky Macavellian will no doubt be well rewarded once his tenure of drinking from the taxpayers trough comes to an end. Not that he won't already be filthy rich after he has moved on and taken his fat superannuation pot of gold with him. A deal by the Chinese is probably inevitable. I'm sure the Murky one, or family, will pop up as consultants with a business account set up in the Bahamas or Cayman Islands. The Bankstown rumour is probably more fact than fiction, and that's probably why the ATO and Slugger are making a big deal about a couple of Sydney mansions that have been bought illegally by overseas parties. A nice deflection and cover to attract the media attention while the airports are sold to the cheapest overseas bidder. Our Politicians, most who have testicles the size of peas, will bend over and accept the Chinese money because it is a quick money grab. Australian politicans are too lazy and too stupid to plan 30 years ahead. A Bankstown type airport is a long term earner, but our stupid Pollies prefer a quick fire sale and prefer to put a few hundred million in the bank today (and subsequently piss it away quick smart) rather than plan and invest in the future. We should be 'keeping Australia in Australia', not allowing our minerals, farm land, airports and infrastructure to be flogged off to the first rich bidder'. We have become a whore to the rest of the world, selling ourselves like a cheap hooker to the first client.
News to politicians - Keep our airports in Auatralia!!

Sydney airport is also a complete joke. A billion dollar entity that could bring in lots of sweet tax money which could in turn fund bigger and better infrastructure for NSW, and yet it is all given away, for free, tax exempt. Yep, our politicans really are dumbf#cks.

Oink oink 'Fattenned pockets for all'
Reply
#10

Back in the day; just after WW2 the Australian government actively encouraged all manner of aviation, realising that the sun burnt country, particularly 'the bush' would benefit from such activity.   Alas, times have changed and from being a supported, vibrant, useful industry aviation has, through a series of downward steps become more of nuisance, than an asset.  That history is easily and readily defined.  The realisation that great power was to be had by riding on the magic carpet of 'safety'; the mystique and 'glamour' surrounding aviation, air travel and keeping the travellers safe not only provided surety, but guaranteed power.   So how have we descended from the heady days when men of good will and intentions built an industry, through to being seen as a cash cow, to the present state of being regulated and priced out of business, is a good question.  But why? - is a much better one.

To answer that question we must look toward the splendid present day benefits to be gained by eradicating the aviation industry.  Take Bankstown as an example.  The first thing to realise is the wonderful benefits to the people who have family homes near airports; the absence of aircraft noise will greatly increase the property values, just for a start.  The peace and tranquillity generated by a massive freight hub with hundreds of heavy trucks using the depot, operating 24/7, not to mention the traffic congestion is a wonderful thing. You can add another a huge shopping complex, and another two, or perhaps three thousand new neighbours to enhance the ambience of  river side suburb.  This is all so much better than those noisy aircraft. – But wait, there's more – in a truly worthy, cost efficient plan of Machiavellian cunning, the 'powers that be' have solved three problems.  

You see, covering the existing aerodromes with a fresh, clean, newly developed radio active/ asbestos conglomerate land fill solves a toxic waste disposal problem, this not only keeps the local water melons happy as the stuff is no longer near 'their' place; but saves those who must remove and transport it away a small fortune – so, that's all to the good.

But the truly remarkable part (and this'll knock your socks off) is that when your place floods, because the ancient flood plain has been removed, you don't have to worry about the kids floating away as food for sharks.  Your caring local council has done a great deal on surplus pink bats, bought truck loads of them.  These will be distributed through school, one per child, so the little blighters can float about all day during times of flood.  But wait – there's even more; not only can the kids float all day, but, they can do so quite safely at night.  The radio active material will ensure that your child glows in the dark and will be easily located, should the little tyke stray from the flooded back yard.  Wait for the TV ads, they're brilliant.  

The benevolent developers of the now redundant, ex airport land will post exclusive video coverage of happy little groups of children on their pink bat floaties, glowing blue and green as backdrop to another great shopping mall being built on a large expanse of that green stuff.  They believe this is called 'grass', but assure us they will have their excellent legal department confirm this for you.  It has after all managed to confirm everything else.

We really need to identify the modest government employed brokers of these splendid deals and the kindly entrepreneurs who, for no profit, are, selflessly prepared to undertake this great task of decimating an industry and providing a brand new shopping mall and blocks of high rise residencies to supply the generous super markets with lots of new customers.  Ain't that great?

There now, don't you feel better.  Oh, and folks, don't forget to claim your part of the one billion dollar profit, the developers are always happy to share.   There's even a free holiday on offer at Uncle Bob's farm in green, clean New Zealand.  To win, just answer a simple question – "What does big Mac and Golden parachutes mean to you?

We all must hope that Archerfield fails in it's attempt to ward off the righteous developers; so it too can be converted and enjoy the benefits of the greed creed.

Sponsored by the IOS chapter for Feral Unchallenged Covetous Knavery – Unlimited -:
Reply
#11

Passing strange that murkiest of Mandarins and his property shark developers are able to circumvent Federal law with impunity.
The airports act specifically prohibits foreign ownership of Australian airports.
The major shareholder of what's left of Bankstown airport after the other sharks have bitten large chunks out of it is Leighton Holdings. Last time I checked Leighton was owned by a Spanish company......has Federal law been breached?

Hang on, isn't the company that owns the lease for Mascot registered in the Bahamas??..Oh silly me, tax minimization, Mc Bank have done a sterling job, ten years, ten BILLION dollars and not a cent of tax paid, perfect score for tax minimization.

Some of the airport was owned by a superannuation fund. A "Trust".
Head lease says trusts cannot own the airport or part of the airport...Breach of head lease?
As time goes by, more and more inconvenient truths are coming to the surface, that state law can be circumvented, that federal law can be circumvented, with impunity!!
Why is this not being investigated? Or has Australia truly become part of Asia where corruption is endemic and condoned.

"The radio active material will ensure that your child glows in the dark and will be easily located"

Aint it a hoot!! The 100 years flood that BAL said would never happen, has happened!!

I'm told all that contaminated fill they dumped on the flood plain is now washing into the Georges river, I expect lots of two headed fish to start turning up in the river shortly.

What angers me more than anything is our unsuspecting emergency hero's are wading around in this muck, completely oblivious to the danger. A few people have tried to raise the alarm, but officialdom seems to not give a damn.
Reply
#12

Perhaps some of Bankstowns radioactive waste that may well and truly have been disturbed by this weeks 'one in a hundred year' event will make it to the Indian Ocean and mix with MH370 fueselage, hydraulics and fuel and make it magically appear to the keen eyes of the oceanographers? Oh, hang on, that other great Government coverup called Fukishima is ensuring that there is plenty of radioactive shite out there killing off the ocean, maybe some of that waste will mix with our waste creating an even better picture for the oceanographers and Beaker??

Thorny, there is already a plethora of two headed hybrids up the road in Canberra!
Reply
#13

Here's a question for Bill Heffernan – there is an ugly rumour on the wind that an attempt was made to 'persuade' him to withdraw his objections to the development of YSBK, get on board and assist expedite the project in return for a packet of sweeties and a night with someone's sister.  I would hope that rumour is scurrilous, malicious gossip for it brings no credit to any.

But now that the highly suspect (they have acknowledged asbestos) 'fill' from the airport is floating down the Georges river, across the golf course, carried onto flooded properties and spread over countless vehicles, to be washed off on Sunday; you have to wonder; will Bill now call for a Senate inquiry into the pillage of airport land, moody developments and those who are determined to do it?

He could start with Be-a-cur and his mate Merdek up first, to answer some fairly direct questions.  

What a top story for Four Corners; mind you the MSM don't seem to care a duck, not even a two headed one that glows in the dark and barks.  

Toot toot.
Reply
#14

(04-23-2015, 06:35 AM)kharon Wrote:  Here's a question for Bill Heffernan – there is an ugly rumour on the wind that an attempt was made to 'persuade' him to withdraw his objections to the development of YSBK, get on board and assist expedite the project in return for a packet of sweeties and a night with someone's sister.  I would hope that rumour is scurrilous, malicious gossip for it brings no credit to any.

But now that the highly suspect (they have acknowledged asbestos) 'fill' from the airport is floating down the Georges river, across the golf course, carried onto flooded properties and spread over countless vehicles, to be washed off on Sunday; you have to wonder; will Bill now call for a Senate inquiry into the pillage of airport land, moody developments and those who are determined to do it?

He could start with Be-a-cur and his mate Merdek up first, to answer some fairly direct questions.  

What a top story for Four Corners; mind you the MSM don't seem to care a duck, not even a two headed one that glows in the dark and barks.  

Toot toot.

From SMH a short while ago:

Quote:
Quote:Sydney weather: Residents prepare for rising flood water as Georges River peaks
Hundreds of residents in Sydney's south west were ordered to evacuate their homes on Wednesday night as the Georges River burst its banks, after heavy rainfall caused dozens of floods across Sydney. 

The SES said it conducted about 35 separate flood rescues across Sydney on Wednesday.
[Image: 1429691938468.jpg]
Davey Robinson Drive resident Nathan Arnold was trying to move move things out his flooded garage on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Steven Siewert

About 200 homes around Milperra were evacuated due to forecast flooding of the Georges River. The swelling river was expected to peak at 2.85 metres at about 6pm. 

Though the flood was classified as minor by the Bureau of Meteorology, an SES spokesman said the organisation predicted all homes were at risk of being inundated. 

Among those preparing for rising waters was Chipping Norton resident Nathan Arnold, who like many others in the area, said he had no intention of evacuating.
 
[Image: 1429691938561.jpg]
Residents in parts of south west Sydney have been urged to evacuate immediately as flood waters continue to rise Photo: Steven Siewert

As well as the motorcycle and expensive power tools, Mr Arnold had to worry about an anxious alpaca and stubborn sheep.
The asphalt of Davy Robinson Drive was hidden beneath a current of knee-deep water, which had seeped into the garages of homes and was predicted to keep rising into the evening.
 
In preparation, Mr Arnold was moving his belongings upstairs and finding higher ground for his uncooperative pets.

[Image: 1429711449826.jpg]
At 4.50pm, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a minor flood warning for the Georges River. Photo: Steven Siewert

"If we need to we've got the boat. We can start the motor up and float out of here," an upbeat Mr Arnold said. 
Around south-west Sydney several major roads were impassable due to the river flooding.

Cars were left abandoned in rising water, debris was strewn on roads and the river was flowing fast.  Shops and businesses were closing shop and sending employees home early as the flood waters cut off access.
 
[Image: 1429711449826.jpg]
Parts of Newbridge Road were closed due to floods for most of Wednesday. Photo: Steven Siewert

While volunteers were door-knocking in the area and advising people to leave their properties, many seemed unconcerned. Several residents said they had experienced flooding in the past and many of the houses along the river are built on stilts or raised above the ground.

Flood risk for the Georges River at Liverpool was downgraded late on Wednesday, after reaching a peak of three metres, about half-a-metre less than authorities had expected it to reach.
 
The bureau has also issued flood warnings for Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, Wyong River, Tuggerah Lake, Lake Macquarie, Paterson River and Williams River.
[Image: 1429698066278.jpg]
Click for more photos

NSW storm photos continue to reveal toll of wild weather

Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong continue to be battered by the storms that hit the NSW coast. Photo: Darren Pateman

Flood waters were highest at the Colo River at Colo. They had reached a peak of 9.3 metres on Wednesday night and were expected to rise further.
 
No part of the city was spared from pockets of flooding in Wednesday's heavy rain.

The highest 24-hour rainfall totals recorded in the city were in the north-west and south, where totals of about 130 millimetres were recorded around Hornsby and Engadine.

Dressing rooms at Endeavour Stadium, the home ground of the Cronulla Sharks rugby league team, were flooded with knee-high water.
 
Water rose above car tyres in Crown Street in Surry Hills in the centre of Sydney at about 7am on Wednesday. At the same time, water had already risen through train stations in the inner-west at Lewisham and Marrickville.

Waters rose as high as the platform at the train station at Bardwell Park in Sydney's south. The flooded station caused major delays on the Airport Line throughout the day. It is the second time in the past year the station has been flooded
  
Hansard segment from last Senate Estimates:

Quote:CHAIR: It is registered in the state of New South Wales as a Commonwealth folio.

[ltr]Mr Wilson : Which means that it comes under Commonwealth law.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Clause 30 of the lease over this land says that the lease is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New South Wales. Refer yourself to clause 30.[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Wilson : Senator, I do not have the lease with me.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Well, I do.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator BACK: Again, are we going anywhere with this? Is the officer going to get a chance to answer, or are we taking it on notice?[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: He is answering.[/ltr]

[ltr]Senator BACK: No. he is not. You are not giving him a chance to.[/ltr]


[ltr]Mr Wilson : Without seeing the clause, Senator, and the context in which the clause is written, I cannot answer.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Well, I will just go a bit further if you cannot answer. I will just give you a few other tips. The certifier of this process was a private certifier?[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Wilson : He is our building controller.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: A private certifier cannot approve the destruction of a flood plain, only the relevant council.[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Wilson : Senator, in accordance with this—[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: In this case it is Bankstown City Council.[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Mrdak : What we might do, Senator, is, if you could set out the issues, then we will answer what we can tonight or take them on notice and give you detailed answers. So, if you could give to us your questions or assertions.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: As you know, the destruction of this flood plain is going to have an affect on the residential people in the area in the event of a flood incident. It is going to have a serious impact on the people who have had nothing to do with this dodgy deal, but who happen to live adjacent. The flood plain has been filled and the flood has to go somewhere. The council knows about it and the guys that did it knew about it as they were doing it. To add to that the fill, which was the cheapest that they could find, is full of contaminated material, which allegedly was supposed to be supervised under the environment approval process. I rest my case. You have a problem, boys.[/ltr]

[ltr]Mr Mrdak : Senator, with those matters, we will take them up and come back to you with a detailed response.[/ltr]

[ltr]CHAIR: Thank you. [/ltr]

Or if you prefer... Wink



And for those arrogant & ignorant Commonwealth public service Mandarins on display in that Senate Estimates video footage, here is a link for a very informative 2001 paper (courtesy Wentworth Shire Council) that clearly outlines the history of flooding on the Georges river, titled - HAVE WE FORGOTTEN ABOUT FLOODING ON THE GEORGES RIVER?

Relevant quote:

Quote:The Commonwealth Government ? The Commonwealth Government became partners

with the State and Local Government in implementing major flood mitigation projects along the Georges River. However, Commonwealth funding on the Georges River was removed several years ago, despite some projects being only partially completed.

More recently, filling of federally owned land has been carried out within the floodplain, apparently without an assessment of its impact on flooding.

I suggest Willo and Murky start reading up, cause I fear there will be many questions coming their way very shortly from one extremely fired up & cranky Senator Heff... Dodgy

Which McBank?
As an aside & on the subject of McBank(s), I noticed that one of the big four maybe looking down the barrel of contempt of the Senate (see here )...hmm why does that sound so familiar... Huh

MTF?? - you bet! P2 Tongue


  
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#15

Convert your garage into a cess pool.  Lesson 1.

It is bad enough that your house floods, really bloody awful.  But to know that had it not been due purely for the sake of greedy, commercial interest and lack of government funding, it could have been avoided would send you spare.  The flood plane that was there, protecting you and yours sacrificed to vested interests.  All bad enough – but when the mud, sludge and sewage drying underneath your house may have some radio active waste or asbestos in it, carried in by water which should never have been there in the first place and could, potentially affect the health of your kids, dogs and chooks, I reckon you'd be well entitled to a melt down.

The dwindling aviation industry based at Bankstown only has a very small voice in the great scheme of thing: but if every resident who may, even if only once decade, get unnecessarily inundated with 'suspect' fill, or be affected by a deliberately polluted water table were to speak out; they may, just get heard – provided the wretched media could take it's collective fingers out of it's cloth ears long enough to listen.

Arggh - Angry - AngryAngry
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#16

(04-23-2015, 11:11 AM)Peetwo Wrote:  Sydney weather: Residents prepare for rising flood water as Georges River peaks



Quote:The SES said it conducted about 35 separate flood rescues across Sydney on Wednesday.

[Image: 1429691938468.jpg]

Davey Robinson Drive resident Nathan Arnold was trying to move move things out his flooded garage on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Steven Siewert
Quote:[ltr]CHAIR: As you know, the destruction of this flood plain is going to have an affect on the residential people in the area in the event of a flood incident. It is going to have a serious impact on the people who have had nothing to do with this dodgy deal, but who happen to live adjacent. The flood plain has been filled and the flood has to go somewhere. The council knows about it and the guys that did it knew about it as they were doing it. To add to that the fill, which was the cheapest that they could find, is full of contaminated material, which allegedly was supposed to be supervised under the environment approval process. I rest my case. You have a problem, boys.[/ltr]

Or if you prefer... Wink



And for those arrogant & ignorant Commonwealth public service Mandarins on display in that Senate Estimates video footage, here is a link for a very informative 2001 paper (courtesy Wentworth Shire Council) that clearly outlines the history of flooding on the Georges river, titled - HAVE WE FORGOTTEN ABOUT FLOODING ON THE GEORGES RIVER?

Relevant quote:


Quote:The Commonwealth Government ? The Commonwealth Government became partners with the State and Local Government in implementing major flood mitigation projects along the Georges River. However, Commonwealth funding on the Georges River was removed several years ago, despite some projects being only partially completed.

More recently, filling of federally owned land has been carried out within the floodplain, apparently without an assessment of its impact on flooding.
Quote:Gobbles: I hope Mr Arnolds legs don't start glowing green after wading through that beautiful water!!

You know it's a strange thing when you start to unravel a ball of string as you never quite know where it is going to end up. It appears lately that with each passing month the Meredek ball of string seems to be unraveling faster and faster?

"Unsafe water tables for all"


Kharon: Convert your garage into a cess pool.  Lesson 1.

It is bad enough that your house floods, really bloody awful.  But to know that had it not been due purely for the sake of greedy, commercial interest and lack of government funding, it could have been avoided would send you spare.  The flood plane that was there, protecting you and yours sacrificed to vested interests.  All bad enough – but when the mud, sludge and sewage drying underneath your house may have some radio active waste or asbestos in it, carried in by water which should never have been there in the first place and could, potentially affect the health of your kids, dogs and chooks, I reckon you'd be well entitled to a melt down.

The dwindling aviation industry based at Bankstown only has a very small voice in the great scheme of thing: but if every resident who may, even if only once decade, get unnecessarily inundated with 'suspect' fill, or be affected by a deliberately polluted water table were to speak out; they may, just get heard – provided the wretched media could take it's collective fingers out of it's cloth ears long enough to listen.

Arggh - [Image: angry.gif] - [Image: angry.gif][Image: angry.gif]

Simply beyond the pale how little regard governments past and present really have for the average punter when there is money to be made...FFS Angry

And to think old Farmer Truss just signed off on the BAL Master Plan less than a week into NY'15 - Approval granted for Bankstown Airport Master Plan. And didn't that get the Council/developers (& presumably McBank) hopping, they'd basically had all that lovely federally owned land carved up & developed before the ink had dried on the miniscule's signature:

Quote:Concern over ‘ad hoc’ commercial development of 130ha at Bankstown Airport  

  • by: James Beech
  • From: Canterbury-Bankstown Express
  • March 04, 2015 11:00AM
[Image: 479535-f8d3faaa-c1f9-11e4-870a-64b168121aee.jpg]

Bankstown Airport chief executive Colin Grove speaking at a stakeholders meeting in the passenger terminal concerning plans about the future of the airport. Picture: Melvyn Knipe Source: News Corp Australia

MORE than 130ha of surplus land at Bankstown Airport could be developed to create employment and secure the long-term future of the airport.  

The State Government has earmarked the corridor from the airport to Milperra for industrial developments while maintaining aviation uses.
Bunnings, McDonald’s and Aldi are among the companies already open at the airport.

The airport masterplan, which was approved by the Federal Government, has identified 130ha for “non-aviation” uses. But Bankstown Airport is unwilling to release details on any potential future developments.

[Image: 479785-d04a70b2-c1fb-11e4-870a-64b168121aee.jpg]

An aerial view of Bankstown Airport. Source: News Limited 

In approving the master plan Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said: “Major developments will require further planning processes, community consultation and approval in accordance with the Airports Act 1996 before going ahead.”

BANKSTOWN AIRPORT CHIEF DISMISSES NIGHT FLIGHT CURFEW

Bankstown Mayor Linda Downey said the council had concerns about an “ad hoc” approach to developments without investment in infrastructure and transport.

“The approved plan promotes retail tenancies in non-aviation land that will diminish the potential for aviation supporting industries,” Cr Downey said.

But Bankstown Airport chief executive Colin Grove said the masterplan ­addressed many of the council’s concerns.

[Image: 479705-c65df9a8-c1fa-11e4-870a-64b168121aee.jpg]

Bankstown Mayor Linda Downey says the council will be closely monitoring development at Bankstown Airport. Picture: Chris McKeen Source: News Corp Australia

An airport leaseholder, who asked not to be named, said the airport had not ­informed leaseholders of the plans for the 130ha.

“They write you a nice warm fuzzy thing saying this is where we’re all moving to but … they’re actually telling you nothing,” he said.

■ The 2014 Master Plan is Bankstown Airport’s operational and development plan for the next 20 years

■ It facilitates more aviation activity, including passenger services, and recognises the potential for major non-aviation developments including retail to the south

After Heffernan's outburst - obviously backed by verified, ridgy-didge documented evidence - it would certainly be embarrassing if it was since discovered that BAL had been in breach of their lease agreement prior even to the miniscule signing off on the Draft MP??

For those interested here is a link for the environmental section of the BK MP that our dozy miniscule apparently signed off on - 4. FINAL BANKSTOWN AES Section 4 Environmental Management Issues

Besides the MSM - seemingly with their heads in the sand on this issue - I've got to ask why the hell Senator Milne & the Greens aren't all over this?? 
Maybe this will grab their attention?? Not sure if it is true or not.. Angel ..but I heard a rumour that AirServices Australia are sitting on a ticking time bomb, which has the potential to effect not only the Sydney basin water table but any of a number of areas in Australia with an airport facility that is big enough to justify having an ASA firefighting service. 

The following is a quote from this article - Innovation converts ordinary clay into chemical trap:

Quote:Professor Naidu says there is a large global market for his product.


Quote:“Australia has 450 civilian and military airports, and nearly all of these have used firefighting foams in training or in real emergencies and are therefore contaminated sites. We are currently working with Airservices Australia to determine the feasibility of treating contaminated wastewater at airports.”

Environmental PFCs have been shown to accumulate in animal and human tissue, and are linked to bladder and liver cancer, endocrine disruption, and developmental and reproductive toxicity.

Stuart Khan, Associate Professor at the UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, says the dangerous PFCs will linger even after the 'film-forming' foams is phased out. 

“Although application of these products to fight fires is now being phased out, there is still stock around that can be used, and broad prior use has a long impact due to the very slow breakdown rate of PFCs, and accumulation in living tissues,” he said.
 
Hmm...paints a rather grim picture but a least the DoD are onto it...FFS! Angry

..err TICK..TOCK Tony & Wazza..P2 Confused
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#17

Uh oh, did somebody mention PFC? Brisbane airport are/have been looking at the PFC issue in the past 12 months. Also some of Cairns airports future development, in line with it's approved master plan, may hit some snags due to the PFC issue and my source tells me that they have already met with ASA. Also, it gets better - currently there is no quantifiable data or specific measure that you can weight PFC contamination against, but I did day 'yet'. However a contact in government informs me that this will change in the not so distant future because PFC is definitely an environmental/human issue. In fact it is rumoured that Airservices are aware that this shitfight is coming and has squirrelled away around $350 million in preparation for compensation. After all, can you imagine the superannuation funds and the JP Morgans being told "sorry, you can't put all those shops and/or DFO's on that juicy airport land that you bought because it is highly contaminated with PFC's, sorry"!
Furthermore I have heard that the likely compensation cost may run into billions around the network. Can you imagine telling the Government that their precious ASA may have to kick the can for billions in compensation? Kind of makes one think that allowing airport generating money machines like Sydney to operate and not have to deliver a single cent of revenue into the public coffers is somewhat RIDICULOUS!! So another question that one could throw out there just for 'shits and giggles', is this; What does Mr Meredek know about this potential issue??

Peetwo, what do you think mate, is there MTF? Give me a hell yes!

"Unsafe glowing airport land for all"
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#18

Oh Gawd!!! This is Virgin on the ridiculous!!!

So Bankstown airport land is not contaminated??

Or so say BAL'S self appointed, Manevolent Manadarin approved, environment officer's EPA approval.
(Who supplied BAL with the commonwealth letterheads to write it on??)

Now let's see! To start with, thousands of litres of bunker oil sprayed all over the airport from 1942 onward to keep the dust down.

On, or under that, lots and lots of highly explosive ordinance, so much that it is difficult to find a spot on the airport free of magnetic interference for compass swings.
BAL buggered the one we had, when they allowed Goodmans to build the TOL freight shed.
(Who supplied the commonwealth government letterhead for BAL to write their own building approval for this project In contravention of State Law? A Murky Macevellion?)

So, someone's Aunt Mini could in theory, stamp her foot at the check out and go out with a Bang !!!

In the modern era we have asbestos contaminated, and possibly radio active contaminated landfill dumped on a flood plain that is right now leaching into the groundwater or washing into backyards along the Georges River because everyone was under the misconception that Bankstown was Commonwealth land and they could ignore State Law and write their own EPA approvals, arrogantly placing the health and wellbeing of neighbouring residents at risk in the quest for the Holey dollar.
The smug, corrupt, contemptible assholes!!

Now the final insult. PCB's!!! I can recall old Tug Wilson and his crew, out there blasting the place with wonderful foam!!!
For Christs sake just how contaminated has a plot of land have to be????
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#19

All floating down the river into a back yard and harbour – near you.  

Q) If the BAL outfit used their very own, in-house EIS guru to 'approve' their wonderful plan; how come it's on Commonwealth letter head?  Or have I got it wrong.  

Hey, what about using the RA fill on the runways; save a fortune on lights; the runways would just glow all night; dead easy to find; now there's a safety bonus for CASA to exploit.  Bill Heffernan will love it.  Win – win??
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#20

Passing strange??

It would seem good old BAL have been busy boys after the flood waters, that they quite possibly exacerbated receded.

They've been out and about in recent days, busily clearing up any flood debris visible from a public perspective. Frantically mowing grass around The IGA and Bunning's site, even the grass verges along Milperra road I'm told.

Their so public spirited aren't they, all that asbestos, PFC and radio active contaminates scattered to the four winds to settle in a back yard near you.

Flood you say! what flood??

And what is this I hear about Building approvals and EPA approvals issued to BAL by BK council for BK airport that seem to be for sites a rather long way from the actual airport? Hmm, very passing strange.

There is also questions about the CEO of the anointed development shark for the flood plain paying visits to certain government people in Cant-berra recently, would that have been to convince them to be Can-berra? 

Yes we can, yes we can!

Did he advise a certain official that if his development went ahead that would be the end of the airport? Wow and this from someone who loves handling hand guns and known to utilise some rather shady people for debt collection, and some even shadier people on motor bikes to handle industrial relations.

Murkier than the "alleged" flood water I'd say
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