Senate Estimates.

Albo/Bandt Coalition vote down supporting GA industry?? Dodgy

Yesterday in Senate Committee business, the following motion was put for RRAT Committee Inquiry:

Quote:Reference

[Image: image]

Senator RICE (Victoria) (16:39): I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 8 October 2024:

The impact and mitigation of aircraft noise on residents and business in capital cities and regional towns, with particular reference to:

(a) the effect of aircraft noise on amenity, physical and mental wellbeing and everyday life of residents;

(b) the effect of aircraft noise on small business;

© any proposals for the mitigation and limitation of aircraft noise, including flight curfews, changes to flight paths and alternatives to air travel;

(d) any barriers to the mitigation and limitation of aircraft noise; and

(e) any other related matters.
 

To this motion Senator McKenzie put forward this amendment:

Quote:[Image: image]

Senator McKENZIE (Victoria—Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (16:39): by leave—I move an amendment to business of the Senate notice of motion No. 1, as circulated in the chamber:

Omit all words after "That", substitute "the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 8 October 2024:

(a) The impact, regulation and mitigation of aircraft noise on residents and business in our communities, including the impacts of aircraft noise on amenity, physical and mental wellbeing and everyday life of affected communities; and

(b) Australia's airspace management, operation and regulation to ensure the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the aviation industry, with particular reference to:

(i) the adequacy and effectiveness of Australia's airspace management operation and regulation in meeting the needs of the aviators and communities,

(ii) skills shortages, job vacancies and access to skills training in the aviation sector,

(iii) aircraft noise management practices and their effectiveness in mitigating impacts on communities,

(iv) factors contributing to on-time performance issues across Australian airspace,

(v) the safety and reliability of airspace management across rural and regional Australia, and

(vi) any other related matters".
 

The amendment was then put to a 'division' and was unfortunately voted down  Undecided

Division: NOES 35 (6 majority) AYES 29 PAIRS 0 - See HERE for all the reasons why the GA industry is doomed under the Albo/Bandt Coalition... Angry

MTF...P2  Tongue
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AQON finally complete; & Additional Estimates program released? Rolleyes

Some kudos to Betsy and his nearly 2,000 minions, they have successfully answered all but 3 of the 456 listed Supp Estimates QON - see HERE if interested... Rolleyes 

Next I note that the Additional Estimates program has been tabled:

Quote:2023-24 Additional estimates

Program


Monday, 12 February 2024
Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, excluding Communications and the Arts

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Program (PDF 151KB)

[Image: RRAT-6.jpg]

[Image: RRAT-6-1.jpg]

Airservices up early (1245)? Don't believe that's a good sign for Harfwit and his fellow exec trough swillers... Shy

MTF...P2  Tongue
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https://auntypru.com/forum/showthread.ph...3#pid14153- MKII  Dodgy

Yesterday in Senate Committee business, the following motion was put for RRAT Committee Inquiry:

Quote:Reference

[Image: image]

Senator RICE (Victoria) (16:39): I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 8 October 2024:

The impact and mitigation of aircraft noise on residents and business in capital cities and regional towns, with particular reference to:

(a) the effect of aircraft noise on amenity, physical and mental wellbeing and everyday life of residents;

(b) the effect of aircraft noise on small business;

© any proposals for the mitigation and limitation of aircraft noise, including flight curfews, changes to flight paths and alternatives to air travel;

(d) any barriers to the mitigation and limitation of aircraft noise; and

(e) any other related matters.
 

To this motion Senator McKenzie put forward this amendment:

Quote:[Image: image]

Senator McKENZIE (Victoria—Leader of the Nationals in the Senate) (16:39): by leave—I move an amendment to business of the Senate notice of motion No. 1, as circulated in the chamber:

Omit all words after "That", substitute "the following matters be referred to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for inquiry and report by 8 October 2024:

(a) The impact, regulation and mitigation of aircraft noise on residents and business in our communities, including the impacts of aircraft noise on amenity, physical and mental wellbeing and everyday life of affected communities; and

(b) Australia's airspace management, operation and regulation to ensure the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the aviation industry, with particular reference to:

(i) the adequacy and effectiveness of Australia's airspace management operation and regulation in meeting the needs of the aviators and communities,

(ii) skills shortages, job vacancies and access to skills training in the aviation sector,

(iii) aircraft noise management practices and their effectiveness in mitigating impacts on communities,

(iv) factors contributing to on-time performance issues across Australian airspace,

(v) the safety and reliability of airspace management across rural and regional Australia, and

(vi) any other related matters".
 

The amendment was then put to a 'division' and was unfortunately voted down  Undecided

Division: NOES 35 (6 majority) AYES 29 PAIRS 0 - See HERE for all the reasons why the GA industry is doomed under the Albo/Bandt Coalition... Angry


Ref: SBG 11/02/24

MTF...P2  Tongue

PS: Watch Estimates here:

12/02/2024 9:00AM - 11:00PM AEDT Senate, Rural, Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Senate Estimates) 
Reply

RRAT Committee Additional Estimates: 12/02/24

Waiting on Hansard but in the meantime here is some pics to review... Wink






Finally, Popinjay actually gets asked a question (on behalf of ONSR)... Blush


MTF...P2 Tongue
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Hansard published - Rolleyes

Via APH website:

HTML version: https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/sea...nt=Default

PDF version: https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/dow...tion%2Fpdf


Quote:Senator FAWCETT: Ms Spence, could I just point out the logic fault in this. The position Australia adopted in February 2020 was aligned with the FAA and with the New Zealand authority. Do you know how many licensed pilots are flying in America?

Ms Spence : We've got two issues.

Senator FAWCETT: Ms Spence, sorry—I'm asking you a question.

Ms Spence : No, I don't.

Senator FAWCETT: There are around 620,000—about 110,000 commercial pilots. They've had the system operating for a number of years with no incidents. Yet the assertion here is that because Australia has done this for a couple of years without incident, we must be on the wrong path. The US has been doing it for years, so I'm saying that the whole premise behind this paper is based on flawed logic.

Ms Spence : That paper is not the basis on which we are going forward. The issues that we raised—which we briefed you on separately—were the issues that we had with the operationalisation of the OCVA and what we are trying to do to address that. I might refer to my colleague.

Mr Marcelja : One of the things that we have really taken very seriously is the instability and the uncertainty about how this issue has been treated. To avoid the situation that you are recounting, where changes were made from different areas perhaps in an unstructured way, we are proposing to settle the policy forward through a regulatory process that actually puts a position out for consultation over the next probably six weeks and create a legislative instrument that captures how we treat colour vision in a way that is transparent and open and subject to review and scrutiny, so that we do not end up in the situation that you were talking about where people have instability and uncertainty.

As Ms Spence said, the paper that you have in front of you is not CASA's position. That is an internal discussion paper that some members of our medical community might have had. But we are taking it forward from a whole-of-CASA perspective that includes inputs from our operational areas, our flying standards areas and our medical areas. We intend to consult publicly to create stability.

Senator FAWCETT: I'm pleased to hear that. This may have only been a discussion paper, but it did start, until October last year, to have material impact on pilots and their professions and their ability to operate, because it was starting to be operationalised clearly without an internal review and approval process.

Ms Spence : And we are addressing that now, Senator.

Senator FAWCETT: I accept what you are saying and I welcome that—a good strong process—but I want to go back to the basis of principle. The whole discussion started with the fact that you believed that the operational test was a valid way to move forward as a third level of testing. Both you, I believe, and Dr Manderson made the comment that, should a pilot pass that operational test without any issues, they would be issued an aviation medical certificate without condition, note, restriction, endorsement et cetera. Is that still your principled position that you are seeking to find the evidence to work towards?

Ms Spence : We are working our way through that, and it will be the basis for a discussion paper, as Mr Marcelja mentioned. That is the intention. I don't think we have moved away from that, but we just need to make sure that we can actually turn the principle into a deliverable outcome.

Senator FAWCETT: You have highlighted in the evidence you have provided that there has been close dialogue with both the New Zealanders and the FAA. Have they indicated that they will change their position if you don't believe that you can reach that point?

Ms Spence : I think our issue is more around how we come up with a repeatable test. At this stage, we haven't had any conversations with the FAA or New Zealand to suggest that they would move away from their positions. But, again, we can take on notice if there has been any feedback along those lines.

Senator FAWCETT: If you don't believe that you can come up with a repeatable operational test that satisfies your safety requirements, does that mean that there will be a flow-on impact where you will stop any pilots that are licensed by the FAA?

Ms Spence : You are asking us to make assessments about something that hasn't actually happened yet. So I would rather let us get through the process that we are working through before we guess what happens after that.

Senator FAWCETT: It is the logical extension of your argument, though.

Ms Spence : I'm talking about what we are actually going to be consulting on. If, as a result of the consultation, we find ourselves unable to progress the way that we have been discussing, we will be open and transparent about what our next steps are. I don't know what other countries will do in response to anything that we do, either.


Quote:Ms Spence : Sorry, I'll have to take that on notice. I don't have the information in front of me. Apologies.

Senator ROBERTS: So, presumably, the answer, presumably from CASA, says that four of the five incidents—they say in brackets afterwards, 'this event has now been reported'. So at the time it wasn't.

Ms Spence : Sorry, I genuinely don't have that document in front of me so I can't—

Senator ROBERTS: I'm telling you what the document says.

Ms Spence : I know. And it's very difficult for me not having it in front of me to be able to explain what the context was.

Senator ROBERTS: Would you like to make a copy of this?

Mr Marcelja : Sorry, I'm just looking for it as well.

Ms Spence : I know the document you're talking about, but I genuinely thought it was—

Mr Marcelja : A bit further back.

Ms Spence : My recollection was that you raised a list, and we said we thought most of them would have been covered. The reason we took it on notice was to test which ones we were aware of and which ones we weren't aware of. And the ones that—

Senator ROBERTS: I'll remind you that I asked you if you'd seen these incidents on the document. Without looking at the document, you said, 'No, these are not on the document.'

Ms Spence : I doubt very much—

Senator ROBERTS: Then I said, 'Would you please look at the document before answering?' How can you have any credibility with me?

Ms Spence : Obviously I don't.

Senator ROBERTS: No, you don't. You don't have a lot of credibility with many pilots either.



Senator ROBERTS: Okay. Let's move on. Do you believe that senior leadership of the agency that is meant to be regulating aviation—that's your agency—having access to the exclusive Qantas Chairman's Lounge and Virgin Beyond Lounge creates a conflict of interest?

Ms Spence : No.

Senator ROBERTS: Not even as a potential perceived conflict of interest?

Ms Spence : No.

Senator ROBERTS: In the May 2022 Senate estimates your evidence was that all gifts and benefits were listed on your website under the gifts and benefits register. That wasn't true, was it?

Ms Spence : I thought that they all were on the list. I haven't deliberately misled the committee. If something wasn't included, I apologise. But everything is certainly on the register now.

Senator ROBERTS: Now?

Ms Spence : And has been for some time.

Senator ROBERTS: If you put it on the register, that means you think it was a gift. But you told me it wasn't a gift.

Mr Marcelja : We were pretty clear in our written response that those memberships predated people joining CASA. We clarified that.

Senator ROBERTS: I'll get to that. That's clarified in your opinion, but it doesn't clarify it so far as the Public Service Association is concerned. Senior members of the aviation regulator had been given access to exclusive airline clubs that aren't available to the public, and this was kept a secret from Australians. Yet you maintain that this doesn't create even a potential conflict of interest.

Ms Spence : I don't accept the premise that it was kept a secret.

Senator ROBERTS: We'll get to that one too. This explanation from the Australian Public Service Commission is very important:

… Public confidence in APS agencies and the APS more broadly can be damaged when gifts and benefits that create a conflict of interest are accepted or not properly declared. The appearance of a conflict can be just as damaging to public confidence in public administration as a conflict which gives rise to a concern based on objective facts.

Having gifted access to exclusive aviation lounges is obviously a conflict of interest when you are the aviation regulator—the aviation regulator.

Ms Spence : No, we're the aviation safety regulator.

Senator ROBERTS: This is regardless of whether the benefit predates the official's employment, and this was not declared.

Ms Spence : I genuinely don't recall us not being on the register—of me having Chairman's Lounge and Virgin Beyond lounge membership. When I was in the department and first received those invitations to join those, it's always been something that I've declared in any of my potential conflicts of interest. Notwithstanding that, I genuinely don't believe it creates a conflict of interest.

Senator ROBERTS: Let me continue. It's very concerning to me that you try to tell this committee that all benefits were declared on the gift register at a time they clearly were not. You made no mention of the fact that you had updated the register with these gifts—

Mr Marcelja : Senator, we—

Senator ROBERTS: Mr Marcelja, I'm trying to talk!

Ms Spence : Just—

Senator ROBERTS: You just quietly updated the webpage and tried to act like those things had been there properly for the entire time, and that's not the case, is it? The gifts weren't on the register at the time you gave evidence to this committee that they were.

Ms Spence : Senator, I'll have to take that on notice. I genuinely thought that they were always on the register. If they weren't, they're certainly on there now and it has never been a secret that I've had those lounge memberships.

Senator ROBERTS: Ms Spence, it seems that it's contemptuous of this committee for you to try and just quietly update this information in the secretive manner that you have. Why not alert the committee that the previous evidence was incorrect and issue a clarification, which is what most honest public servants do?

Ms Spence : As we said in our response to your question, nothing was declared on the CASA gifts and benefits register as no lounge access had actually been provided to CASA executives or board members as a result of their roles in CASA.

Senator ROBERTS: That's a furphy, Ms Spence! They have done—

Ms Spence : It's not a furphy, Senator!

Senator ROBERTS: You're making out that they had them before they joined CASA.

Ms Spence : They did—I did.

Senator ROBERTS: They still have them—

Ms Spence : Yes.

Senator ROBERTS: and they weren't declared. Then, when you updated it to declare them, you didn't advise the committee. You just did it quietly.

Ms Spence : I'm genuinely sorry that you feel that I've misled the committee—

Senator ROBERTS: It isn't my feelings that matter! It's the facts that matter—

Ms Spence : Well, I apologise to the committee unreservedly, but there was never any intention to mislead. As I said, the issue, as far as I can recall, was because you list things as they're provided to you, and because they were already in the possession of myself and some of our board members prior to them actually being on the board they must not have been listed originally. They're on there now, and I have nothing else I can say.

CHAIR: Senator Roberts, does this—

Senator ROBERTS: It's my last question. This brings much of the evidence that you've given to this committee into question, Ms Spence, if this is how you deal with answers that you later find are incorrect. We wouldn't even know this unless someone had trawled back through the internet archives. You have apologised; is there anything else you need to apologise for in our exchanges?

Ms Spence : No, Senator.

Senator ROBERTS: I don't see you as a credible witness with your evidence, Ms Spence.

CHAIR: What I might do, Senator Roberts, due to the hour, is this. I have kept saying all day that we have that report about behaviour—you know what it is—and you have made your point. Ms Spence, it is sloppy—

Ms Spence : Yes.

CHAIR: Let's get over it. The behaviour of politicians in this building over the last few years is pretty questionable too—but anyway! Senator Roberts, do you have further—

Senator ROBERTS: I have finished my questions, thank you, Chair.

Hmm...talking of conflict of interest and transparency, perhaps Su_Spence should be revisiting her non-declaration of the Croc Wrangler joy flight... Huh



Senator McKENZIE: We had some evidence from Airservices Australia this afternoon about chronic anxiety about safety. I think there's chronic anxiety about the performance of Airservices Australia, frankly. Have you or your organisation ever expressed concerns regarding the safety or the management of airspace, particularly in the last few years?

Ms Spence : It's certainly an issue that we're monitoring very closely, as the CEO of Airservices Australia indicated. From our perspective, the safety issue is addressed by the impact on the efficiency of the airspace. You can limit the number of aircraft that are operating in airspace and that therefore means you don't have a safety issue. But you certainly have an efficiency issue.

Senator McKENZIE: So you have an expressed concern about the way the airspace is managed?

Ms Spence : We've expressed concerns about the way in which Airservices is relying on contingency arrangements to manage airspace, but I wouldn't say that's a safety issue; it's the impact on the system that's concerning.

Senator McKENZIE: You're the regulator for air traffic controllers. How many air traffic controllers do you license currently?

Ms Spence : I'd have to take the exact number on notice, sorry.

Senator McKENZIE: What role do you play in the ongoing monitoring of safety regarding air traffic control?

Ms Spence : We undertake surveillance activities on Airservices; we issue safety findings—

Senator McKENZIE: How regularly? We're really pushed for time.

Ms Spence : I have to—

Senator McKENZIE: We've got a lot of agencies and I have a series of questions, so I just need the answer.

Ms Spence : Every month we look at a different unit.

Senator McKENZIE: Great, and you randomly pick units or is there a program?

Ms Spence : It's a mix of the two.

Senator McKENZIE: Given the latest cultural report on ASA, are you confident that air traffic controllers are reporting either mental or physical illness?

Ms Spence : I couldn't comment on that, I'm afraid. I don't have a view on that.

Senator McKENZIE: You license them and you monitor them, but you don't have a view on—

Ms Spence : Their mental health—their capacity.

Senator McKENZIE: Have you seen the reports?

Ms Spence : Yes, I have.

Senator McKENZIE: Right. What's CASA's view of the appalling reports?

Ms Spence : Obviously, we are concerned about the ability for Airservices to address the issues that we see around unscheduled absences and the challenges they've got around having staff in place. Not having staff there means that they haven't been able to deliver services to the regulatory standards. But in terms of—

Senator McKENZIE: What do you do then, Ms Spence? Everything you're saying is true. Today we shut down half the country because two people didn't come into work at Sydney. There are contingency arrangements that ASA has in place that our own airlines won't use, which means it's null and void to actually deal with the issue. You've got aircraft communicating into airspace rather than through air traffic controllers, and they're not prepared to do that. What does CASA do, other than express concern?

Ms Spence : Whenever Airservices need to put a TIBA in place we restrict the airspace so that anyone who wants to enter the airspace—

Senator McKENZIE: How do we change it, Ms Spence?

Ms Spence : We're monitoring and working with Airservices on their 'get well' plan, which will ensure they get the right number of staff in to be able to meet the services.

Senator McKENZIE: In the interest of time, do you have any control over or influence on Airservices Australia?

Ms Spence : Yes, we do.

Senator McKENZIE: How are you using that, given the appalling reports of their service delivery? What have you done in the last three years?

Ms Spence : As I said, we've done surveillance, we've identified issues that they need to address and we work with them as they address those findings.

Senator McKENZIE: On notice, I would like to know the number of issues you've formally addressed with Airservices Australia, what the actual issue was and what the outcome is. There are a lot of vagaries, but I want some practical examples. Thank you so much. That's it for CASA.

CHAIR: Ms Spence, thank you very much. We'll let you get away and just keep going.



Quote:Senator McKENZIE: Qantas, in their submission to the government's white paper, said:

Airservices … has not provided consistent services and was responsible for close to 20 per cent of delays at the country's four biggest airports in financial year 2023.

…  …  …

The inconsistency of service is demonstrated by the concerning increase in … events.

…  …  …

Generally, it is used in countries with significant challenges providing air traffic control (for example, Afghanistan …).

This is our largest airline saying that the way you run your business, on behalf of us, is akin to how air traffic control is worked in a country like Afghanistan. What is your response to Qantas?

Mr Harfield: My response to Qantas is that is completely inaccurate and actually misleading.

Senator McKENZIE: Please explain.

Mr Harfield: Maybe 20 years ago, in the way that we may have handled a service variation, there would have been the same protocols that may have been used in Afghanistan at that particular time, but that is not what occurs today. Fortunately, Qantas operations do understand, but maybe other parts of Qantas don't. The situation that occurs when—

Senator McKENZIE: It's pretty serious to put in a white paper document—

Mr Harfield: That's Qantas's opinion, but it's not backed up by fact.

CHAIR: Can I clarify something, please. When did the quote from Qantas come out and do you have a copy of that for the rest of the committee?

Senator McKENZIE: It is in the Qantas submission to the white paper. I think it is public. Everyone is nodding. My staff can send me the page number.

CHAIR: I am not running a protection racket for Qantas. I fault Qantas more than anyone in this building, apart from Senator Sheldon.

Senator McKENZIE: Oh, don't you do that.

CHAIR: If anything came under Mr Joyce's fingers it would be very questionable anyway. Let's just find out.

Senator McKENZIE: You still all vote against bringing Alan Joyce before the Senate to answer questions.

CHAIR: Not me. I don't get a vote. I don't even like the man.

Senator McKENZIE: We're on a unity ticket there. Has any other department, agency or authority ever expressed concerns regarding safety in relation to the serious lack of air traffic controllers and increasing the number of traffic information broadcast by aircraft events?

Mr Harfield: Before I answer, I want to correct that last bit that you said. The traffic information broadcast by aircraft is an additional protocol that we put into place when we have a service variation in order to ensure safety is always maintained, because we actually set up what we call a temporary restricted area around the area to help protect. I want to make that clear. Going back to your original question, places like CASA always make sure, with the oversight, about any concerns they have; therefore we need to ensure that we provide the relevant information to show—

Senator McKENZIE: I know you have a lot of technical language, but the reality—what we're talking about, these types of events—is where pilots of the aircraft are no longer talking to the air traffic control tower; they're just talking to each other.

Mr Harfield: That is not correct, Senator.

Senator McKENZIE: Are you sure?

Mr Harfield: Absolutely.

Senator McKENZIE: Why don't you explain what you are talking about?

Mr Harfield: When we have a service variation in en-route airspace—it is not necessarily the tower—where we don't have the qualified air traffic controller to provide the service, we set up what is called a temporary restricted area. We have a person to sit there, an operational person, who monitors the airspace and decides whether somebody can enter the airspace or not, and manage. At the same time they provide a flight information service, which is no different. We add an additional protocol, which is the traffic information broadcast by aircraft. That means that the aircraft need to broadcast their position, no different to when they are flying into class G or some regional ports. It means there is an extra layer of safety because instead of the air traffic controller, the person, being the only person who knows what's going on, it's making sure that everyone—

Senator McKENZIE: Mr Harfield, let's be honest: the aircraft is saying, 'Cooee, I'm in this space.' Other aircraft are going, 'Oh, better not fly over there; there's another plane'—

Mr Harfield: But they're not allowed to.

Senator McKENZIE: They refuse to fly under those conditions; isn't that correct? You've set up a system that our airlines refuse to fly under.

Mr Harfield: In some cases they make the decision, and it's the operational decision of the airline where they do. Some airlines, and aircraft, do fly through. It's their choice.



Senator McKENZIE: Mr Harfield, I have one final section of questions. I know other senators are keen to get on with it. We have traversed today's failure, which has effectively shut the country down, as no-one can get in or out of Sydney airport because two people didn't rock up for work today. We have the ongoing issue over multiple reports of the culture of bullying and harassment in your organisation. You trot in here and give us the same lines year in, year out. We have the training debacles. For how long have you been CEO?

Mr Harfield: About eight years.

Senator McKENZIE: Eight years. What is your remuneration?

Mr Harfield: I refer you to our annual report because it is reported in there. It is in the order of $950,000 total remuneration.

Senator McKENZIE: I think you will find it is over a million dollars.

Mr Harfield: No, it is not what is reported.

Senator McKENZIE: It might not be what is reported but—

Mr Harfield: No, it's not.

Senator McKENZIE: Are you going to quibble with the committee the difference between getting paid a little over a million dollars and a little under a million dollars? That is incredible because, Mr Harfield, you are overseeing an absolute—

CHAIR: Shambles.

Senator McKENZIE: An absolute shambles of a show, and you are being paid in excess of a million bucks. That is double what Prime Minister Albanese is being paid. It is akin to what Mr Moriarty is paid, the head of the Department of Defence. My point is: this guy cannot get one KPI right. The Australian public is forking out just over a million bucks a year for the privilege of this disaster. Given the performance of your organisation over recent years, how would you rate your own performance?

Mr Harfield: Looking at the overall performance of the organisation, I would give it a 'B'—considering that we are continuing to change the system to adapt to a different environment. It is about continuing to work through those issues.

Senator McKENZIE: Are any bonuses attached to that salary?

Mr Harfield: No, there are not.

Senator McKENZIE: What about clauses that reduce your package should you or your organisation not meet the KPIs and benchmarks that are frequently set?

Mr Harfield: No, there are not.

Senator McKENZIE: The minister cannot reduce your salary if you fail to live up to her statement of expectations?

Mr Harfield: No, because that would be a matter for the board. The board could make that decision. However, we removed any sort of incentive payments or bonuses as a result of changes to our remuneration structure a few years ago.

Senator McKENZIE: When is your job up for renewal?

Mr Harfield: Next month.

Senator McKENZIE: Have you had any conversations with the minister about reappointment?

Mr Harfield: No, because the board makes a determination and a recommendation to government in the cabinet process.

Senator McKENZIE: Has your chair, or your board, sent that recommendation to the minister?

Mr Harfield: That is my understanding, yes.

Senator McKENZIE: What is their recommendation to Minister King about your reappointment?

Mr Harfield: That is a matter for cabinet.

Senator McKENZIE: Well, it is not before cabinet. I am asking about a decision of the ASA board. What was the decision of the ASA board—

Mr Harfield: They made a recommendation to reappoint me.

Senator McKENZIE: Wow! Next time we will have to have the board here because you are taking the rope and running as hard and fast as you can with your million-dollar salary while you are presiding over an absolute shit show—let's be frank. And your board is reappointing you, despite the fact that, on every metric of what would be a successful chief executive officer's behaviour, you are failing. So that has gone up to Minister King?

Mr Harfield: My understanding is that it is in the cabinet process.

Senator McKENZIE: Minister Brown, do you think this guy needs to be reappointed? After everything you have heard, estimates in, and estimates out?

Senator Carol Brown: The government has made its expectations clear to Airservices Australia on the point. The government also expects it to ensure a safe working environment. We know that aviation has not been delivering the outcomes Australians expect, with higher cancellation rates and more delays to services. The position is now part of a cabinet process, and I cannot respond to that.

Senator McKENZIE: No. But you could tell your senior minister that you have been here, that you have seen what a debacle it is, and that she should not take the board's recommendation, or at least make the board attach improvements in KPIs to salary. Mr Harfield is on next to a million bucks. It is double the prime minister's salary, and the accountability just isn't there.

Senator Carol Brown: The Australian government has made their expectations clear to Airservices Australia. I cannot comment on your question; it is part of the cabinet process.

Senator McKENZIE: Can I get the chair from ASA here?

CHAIR: You certainly can, next time round. You have made your point clear. Senator Ciccone.




Quote:CHAIR: Let's go straight to Mr Mitchell. If you've got an opening statement, please table it. Let's go straight to questions.

Senator RENNICK: I want to ask this of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, but I'll put it to you and if it's the wrong department, it's the wrong department. Between 2014 and 2022 there were 322 collisions between trains and cars, 49 serious injuries and 39 fatalities. I've been contacted by constituents who believe that trains should have better lighting, have you got a view on that? Can you give us an update?

Mr A Mitchell : We have a number of investigations regarding train fatalities: one that has been published and one that will be published later this week. We have a safety study which is specifically on heavy vehicles and train interactions, and there have been a number of fatalities there. That safety study has a number of recommendations and that's likely to be released within the next month. To your point, it will contain recommendations and also evidence based on some of the factors that we've seen that are consistent—visibility being one, and also the nature of the track with visibility lines et cetera. That will go to the safety study. It's due to be released within the next month or month and a half.

Senator RENNICK: And it touches on the lighting issue?

Mr A Mitchell : It does touch on the lighting issue. There has also been work done by ONRSR when it comes to lighting issues, which is perhaps best directed to Peter Doggett.

Senator RENNICK: Thanks for that, and I look forward to getting the report.


Quote:Senator CANAVAN: Section 66(1) of the Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997 says, ‘There is to be a Compliance Committee for Sydney Airport.’

Ms Werner : Yes.

Senator CANAVAN: But there isn’t one, and there hasn’t been one for nearly four years. How is the government in compliance with this act of parliament?

Ms Werner : The facts that you state are correct.

Senator McKENZIE: The question remains.

Senator CANAVAN: Has the department asked for any advice from the Attorney-General on this section of the act in the continuing absence of a compliance committee?

Ms Werner : I don’t think we’ve asked that specific question.

Senator CANAVAN: Maybe if you could take that on notice. This is an act of parliament, and your job is to implement acts of parliament. It doesn’t say the minister ‘may’ or ‘can’; it says, ‘There is to be a Compliance Committee for Sydney Airport.’ So what is the excuse for not creating a compliance committee?

Ms Werner : As I said, given that we are in the process of reforming what the compliance committee will do, it was considered appropriate to wait until that work is complete before reappointing the compliance committee.

Senator CANAVAN: Just to be clear: has the department advised the minister that it’s preferable not to-

Ms Werner : No.

Senator CANAVAN: So you’re not blatantly in breach of an act of parliament, because you have said a number of times that it was decided that it wasn’t worth establishing, or not appropriate to establish this committee, while this reform process goes on. Who made that decision?

Ms Werner : The department has made that decision.

Senator CANAVAN: Not the minister? The minister hasn’t said, ‘I don’t want’—

Ms Werner : No, not the minister.

Senator CANAVAN: How has the department taken upon itself to not do something that this parliament has said there must be? This parliament has said, ‘There is to be a Compliance Committee for Sydney Airport’. I don’t see how you’re not—

Senator McKENZIE: Under what power have you done that?

Senator CANAVAN: Yes.

Ms Purvis-Smith : I understand the question. I think, as Ms Werner explained, given the work undertaken in relation to reforming compliance and issues around this issue, decisions were taken not to instate the compliance committee. Also, there was a lot of feedback from previous members of the compliance committee that it wasn’t effective. So we are doing a lot of work to look at how it can be effective.

Senator CANAVAN: I don't think that helps; in fact, it makes the situation worse. It sounds to me that the department decided, 'This won't be a very effective body, so we just won't create it.'

Senator McKENZIE: 'We won't set it up.'

Senator CANAVAN: But the act of parliament says that there is to be one. It's not up to the department to decide that.

Ms Purvis-Smith : We are looking at ways of setting it up when we're looking at the compliance work that we're currently doing.

Senator CANAVAN: I think this is a matter that has to be looked at a bit more seriously by somebody. I don't think we should get in the habit of departments deciding they can ignore acts of parliament, as you clearly have in this case.

Senator McKENZIE: Have you let the minister know that this is the department's decision, Mr Betts?

Mr Betts : I think it's now on the public record, so this will be wrapped up in their wider consideration of the full process. - Confused

Senator Chisholm: Based on the timing, it did expire under the previous government if the dates were correct.

Senator CANAVAN: I'm making it very clear. I think, from the evidence we've received, that it doesn't sound like it's been an explicit decision of the minister—if we can trust the advice and evidence we've been provided with here. The department said they'd made the decision to not comply with this particular act. I just want to be very clear: has the department, at any time, advised the minister or written to this minister or a minister in the previous government—

Senator McKENZIE: Any minister—not Catherine King but the minister in the previous government.

Senator CANAVAN: to say, 'We know that section 66(1) of this act says "this", but we've decided "this".' Has that happened?

Ms Purvis-Smith : I'd have to take that on notice.

Senator CANAVAN: I definitely think this needs to be—sorry, I'm not making a political point. I think it's very important for the parliament to know that the laws we pass are implemented by the departments and agencies established for that purpose.

Senator McKENZIE: Just on that, I would like you to table or supply the committee with internal documents to the department showing when and how that decision to not comply with the act was made.

Ms Purvis-Smith : We'll take that on notice.

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Senator Fawcett takes on top brass on Taipan bollocks decision. - Rolleyes

Courtesy Sen Fawcett YouTube channel... Wink


Quote:52,854 views Feb 27, 2024

Senator Fawcett questions the Department of Defence regarding the state of Australia's retired fleet of MRH-90 Taipans, which the Government has chosen to destroy instead of donating to Ukraine.


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Additional Estimates - QON published??

According to the RRAT Committee Additional Estimates webpage, there are (so far) 281 QON published for Betsy's Dept and subservient Agencies: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus..._estimates 

Here's the list of relevant QON for the DARD and agencies:

Airservices:

Quote:31 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber31

32 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber32

33 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber33

34 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber34

35 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber35

36 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber36

37 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber37

38 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber37

39 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber39

40 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber40

41 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber41

42 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber42

43 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber43

44 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber44

45 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber45

46 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber46

47 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber47

48 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber48

49 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber49

126 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber126

127 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber127

128 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber128

129 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber129

130 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber130

131 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber131

132 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber132

133 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber133

Quote:Question

1. How many TIBA events occurred in the past five years?
2. Can you please provide the date, times (hours and duration) and locations of all TIBA events that occurred over the past five years?
3. Please provide the details of the number of services disrupted by each event.
4. Please provide the cumulative total of the hours of TIBA events for each calendar year for the last five years.

134 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber134

135 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber135

The DARD:

Quote:63 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber63

64 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber64

65 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber65

66 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber66

67 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber67

68 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber68

69 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber69

144 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber144

Quote:Question

The Slot Compliance Committee hasn't met since 2020 and the appointments have lapsed. Section 66(1) of the Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997 says There is to be a Compliance Committee for Sydney Airport. But there isn't one.

1. How is the Government in compliance with this act of parliament?
2. Why has the Department not established the Slots Compliance Committee in accordance with the requirements of the Sydney Airport Demand Management Act?
3. What authority does the Department have to not give effect to legislation of the Parliament?

CASA:

Quote:96 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber96

Quote:Question

Senator FAWCETT: I accept what you are saying and I welcome that-a good strong process-but I want to go back to the basis of principle. The whole discussion started with the fact that you believed that the operational test was a valid way to move forward as a third level of testing. Both you, I believe, and Dr Manderson made the comment that, should a pilot pass that operational test without any issues, they would be issued an aviation medical certificate without condition, note, restriction, endorsement et cetera. Is that still your principled position that you are seeking to find the evidence to work towards?

Ms Spence: We are working our way through that, and it will be the basis for a discussion paper, as Mr Marcelja mentioned. That is the intention. I don't think we have moved away from that, but we just need to make sure that we can actually turn the principle into a deliverable outcome.

Senator FAWCETT: You have highlighted in the evidence you have provided that there has been close dialogue with both the New Zealanders and the FAA. Have they indicated that they will change their position if you don't believe that you can reach that point?

Ms Spence: I think our issue is more around how we come up with a repeatable test. At this stage, we haven't had any conversations with the FAA or New Zealand to suggest that they would move away from their positions. But, again, we can take on notice if there has been any feedback along those lines.

97 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber97

98 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber98

Quote:Question

Senator FAWCETT: [...] So my last question then is, can you please provide, on notice, details of your progression, leading to your legislative instrument, so that industry will have some understanding of the sort of time frame that we're talking about, given that this was supposed to be resolved last year and we're now pushing into 2024.

99 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...onNumber99

100 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber100

101 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber101

145 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber145

Quote:Janet Rice

Question

? General Aviation Maintenance (GAM) Group operates a Turbo Commander, a Grand Commander AC680, and Shrike Commander AC500S. Are these planes allowed to operate on a daily basis in Austtalia over heavily populated areas?
? Please provide the total number of aircraft using leaded fuel flying over Brisbane.
? How many piston engine aircraft using leaded fuel have used Brisbane and Archerfield airport in the last 12 months? Please issue a table with a weekly breakdown of numbers, movements, plane type, age, operator, and destination for the last 12 months.

146 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber146

147 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber147

211 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber211

254 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber254

255 https://www.aph.gov.au/api/qon/downloade...nNumber255

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Addendum II and Estimates update - Rolleyes

Via Bump in the Night:

(04-19-2024, 10:12 AM)Peetwo Wrote:  Addendum: Hansard out - Rolleyes

Reference:

Quote:Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


Huge turn out to our senate aviation noise inquiry here in Brisbane thanks to everyone across the community who have been speaking out about this issue for years. Air Services Australia failure exposed #BFPCA

[Image: GLKeSvcbgAAEvWO?format=jpg&name=small]



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


@BFPCA_ says that while AirServices Australia boss Jason Harfield may claim that flight path design is ASA's "bread and butter" they are highly incompetent and unable to do the work ASA is required to do.

@BFPCA_ says that ASA, in all their technical expertise, has created a scenario that is not reducing noise but is creating an amphitheatre.



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


BFPCA Chairman Prof Marcus Foth says of AirservicesAustralia "The fish rots from the head" and calls for the Minister to take action against the CEO



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


@BFPCA_ says Airservices Australia is a "noodle mix" of conflicts of interest when regulating noise while also responsible for flight paths and airspace operations. #RRAT #noiseinquiry



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


@YourAFAP tells inquiry that the Minister has had time to host roundtables with airports and unions but not the community.

Albanese Labor Government ignoring the Brisbane community. #RRAT



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


@BFPCA_ has repeatedly been refused meetings with Minister Catherine King and have even travelled to Canberra without success. Where is the Minister?



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


In response to a question from inquiry on whether @BrisbaneAirport believe they are receiving a bad wrap for the incompetence of ASA, BNE CEO responded ‘Yes’ #rrat



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


Both @Qantas and @VirginAustralia have told the Inquiry they are frustrated that ASA is not allowing airlines to use technology to reduce noise and reform airspace management that has been installed on planes for twenty years. #RRAT

Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


@VirginAustralia says it has raised this issue and the failings of ASA with Minister King directly. What is the Minister’s response? Radio silence.



Senator The Hon. Bridget McKenzie
@senbmckenzie


Labor needs to meet with the local community and hear directly their concerns.
AirServices Australia boss should not be reappointed by Labor.
Thanks to all who came out to the inquiry.
???
[Image: MNaP9Dxd?format=jpg&name=small]

Finally here are some of the 'audio only' segments from the public hearing (the evidence given from Prof Foth Chair of the 'Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance' is well worth taking the time to listen to, the guy is well briefed and all over the subject matter and doesn't hold back when condemning Harfwit & CO... Wink ):

BFPCA:



AFAP:



Qantas & Virgin:


Hansard: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee 15/04/2024 - Impact and mitigation of aircraft noise or PDF version

BFPCA:
Quote:Prof Froth: BFPCA's hope is that this inquiry will shine a light on the state capture of Australia's regulatory framework by the aviation industry, including unethical practices and misconduct by Airservices Australia. Airservices have repeatedly breached public trust. They have abused their powers to remove overwater operations without consultation or reapproval and they have failed to meet ministerial conditions imposed upon them under the EPBC Act. In the definition of Australia's National Anti-Corruption Commission, this constitutes corrupt conduct..



CHAIR: Thank you. I might ask a threshold question and then throw to Senator McKenzie. You've made some very strong allegations in your submission—and you repeated them then—about the conflicts, and I think you've used the word 'corrupt'. Can I clarify, though? Is the evidence that members of Airservices Australia are receiving a personal benefit associated with the regulation of airport and aircraft noise, or is it just that they receive extra funding to fund their organisation et cetera in a way that's conflicted and potentially colours their advice?

Prof. Foth : We speak here as representatives of the community. We are not lawyers who can ascertain whether the allegations of corrupt conduct are correct. That's why we have a National Anti-Corruption Commission. We read the information on the Anti-Corruption Commission's website. Our layman's reading is that they meet the definition of corrupt conduct.

CHAIR: I'm not asking a legal question, though. I, too, don't exactly know. I'm not a lawyer myself. I'm asking: is the allegation that they are receiving a personal benefit—they getting extra money or kickbacks or some such—or is it just that the advice they're giving is coloured by the industry funding they receive?

Prof. Foth : We definitely have sufficient evidence to ascertain that Airservices have a conflict of interest because they've been corporatised. They operate as a company in service of the aviation industry. That's actually something that they have publicly admitted in previous Senate estimates hearings. We believe there is an unmanaged conflict of interest with section 9 of the Air Services Act 1995 that stipulates that their main priority should be safety in the air and protection of communities on the ground. They are prioritising profits.



Senator McKENZIE: Thank you, everyone, for attending. It's great to see you again. My question essentially goes to Airservices Australia. You mentioned in your submission and in your opening remarks that the ombudsman in 2021 reported that Airservices Australia did not accurately model new flight paths for Brisbane Airport, or their noise impacts, before a parallel runway opened in July 2020. That's the ombudsman's reported finding. Your commentary around Airservices Australia, I think, continues along a well-worn path that we've all been on for a long time. It's a bit like cutting corners on your own homework, isn't it, if they're in charge of both doing the consultation and other aspects of that? Could you unpack that for the committee, because, as I understand it, the reappointment of the CEO, Jason Harfield, is in front of Minister King right now. I would really like your community's response to that now. I know she has refused to meet, but this is your opportunity.

Prof. Foth : Thank you for the opportunity to address this question. I would first refer the committee to our submission and, specifically, the chronology. Airservices submitted a referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for the airspace in Brisbane in 2007. Malcolm Turnbull, being environment minister at the time, attached ministerial conditions to that approval, and one of the conditions stipulated that Airservices was required to verify what was, at the time, draft forecast noise modelling in 2007 closer to the launch of the runway.

What we found through freedom of information requests and documents that are available to the committee via our submission is that Airservices did, as you say, cut corners and mark their own homework. Not only did they mark their own homework, but they asked their partner, Brisbane Airport Corporation, to do the assessment for them. So the scrutiny was outsourced to the project proponent. The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman, in his report in 2021, specifically mentions a noise comparison report that was fabricated by the airport. The Aircraft Noise Ombudsman, whilst it's beyond the charter of conducting a full investigation into administrative processes, did include a mention that suggests that this noise comparison report that the airport produced was very biased. It was obviously painting a picture of the project in their favour. Airservices then took that report, put it on their letterhead and sent it to the environment minister. Everything was approved without further consultation or scrutiny.



Senator WATERS: Mrs Bignell, I have some questions for you. I thought your observations about your involvement in the group that you've been appointed to represent the community on were really very disappointing, and I share your frustration. Can you give us a potted version of your experience of the so-called community consultation that you've been engaged in and the outcomes it's produced?

Mrs Bignell : As a brief note for an opening address, Minister King continues to neglect her responsibility as an elected politician by the people on this matter. Minister King has demonstrated that the AAB is the only mechanism that the Brisbane community have to bring their concerns forward. AAB's role, as per their terms of reference, is to implement the Noise Action Plan for Brisbane. Community representatives feel that we are there just to mark better engagement and to mark Airservices and BAC's homework.

The chair's role of independence is questionable to community reps. I was expecting more support from the AAB to bring about positive action for the community. I was not expecting to be requested to suppress information from my community. I was not expecting to feel like there was a bias—mainly the interactions with the chair and industry in favour of industry. My submissions include various examples.

AAB has resulted in zero outcomes for the community thus far. It has met basically four times in person and once online. To give you an example, we would have expected that the chair would investigate further the authenticity of the business case of Qantas and Jetstar to retrofit the A320 fuel vents, but we were given a letter from the chair that demonstrated this case. This case needed to be tested, and it wasn't. We also would have thought the chair would request the full-length runway departure trial to be done properly with a new SID and air service, because Airservices' modelling has proven over the last nearly four years to be incorrect.

The biggest impact on most communities is aviation noise. Noise impacts, such as the health issues, are a banned subject at AAB. BACACG is not the forum to be addressing such serious issues. Airservices' Noise Action Plan for Brisbane has no noise metric for the reduction in noise. Does their action plan mean one decibel less or 10 decibels less? Does it mean we can sleep at night?

So what is the end goal here? The airport is there for its efficiencies, and that equates to profits, which are ranked over our community. Industry has no consequences for not doing the right thing by community or incentives for doing the right thing by community. This is why the Senate inquiry committee must look at the London city noise action plan. This is a great example of the use of parliamentary regulatory framework in order to safeguard and protect the community for Brisbane as a whole and Australia. We need to strike a balance. We are thousands of families around Brisbane and Australia suffering at the hands of an unregulated industry. We are not their collateral damage. We are Australians, and we matter



Senator COLBECK: I just want to go back to the discussion around the restrictions at Sydney airport. You make your points in relation to the profitability of the airport and the issues of that matter, but I do have a concern that it's being presented as if there are no issues as a result of the restrictions at Sydney airport, and there are some issues that come from that. The pilots have put to us, for example, that they have some concerns that it raises some safety issues with requirements for them to operate outside international safety parameters. I just want to ask you how you see that being balanced. It goes back to the question that the chair asked at the outset of your evidence today. It is a really important matter, and I acknowledge that you have recognised it there in what you've said, but how do we effectively get a system that appropriately balances those matters? That also is important. You've acknowledged that there's a requirement for the airport to be there. The issue that you're looking to see is a fair balance in the operation of that and the consideration of your issue, as I see what you've said today. So how do we deal with those things, which are actually critical in the proper operation of the system?

Prof. Foth : Regarding the submission from the Australian Federation of Air Pilots, I've read it twice since it was uploaded. I believe that they do offer a fair critique, but the critique is aimed at the kinds of mechanisms and instruments that the airport is now clutching onto. For instance, one major part of the submission deals with the tailwind reductions. That is seen as only a minor change, if it were to come into effect, in terms of producing a noticeable impact on Brisbane communities, and we can see why they are arguing that there are safety implications around increasing the tailwind limitation back to 10 knots.

The submission is entirely comment free when it comes to flight caps and curfews. There's nothing of concern in not using the city ends of the runways, for instance, and only using overwater operations to avoid residential areas, as is done in Sydney. Sydney has pretty much operated incident free as a result of those measures that were introduced. But I think what we also need to acknowledge is the bigger picture of the state being captured here by the industry, as you outlined in the beginning. We're not just dealing with a regulatory framework that is not fit for purpose; we're actually dealing with a situation where there's a revolving door of board appointments—of public servants that go from the one side of the spectrum to the other. We're looking at board appointments at Airservices Australia and we see that the same person is also a director of the Western Sydney Airport and has come from an airline, and goes back to that airline.

So this entangled spaghetti mess of nepotism and corruption is something that we want to take further. The Senate inquiry is, obviously, a major achievement for this community, but we won't stop here. We will continue to put the blowtorch on the airport until all our demands are met, and those that have done wrong have been put to justice.

Senator COLBECK: I have no further questions, Chair.



CHAIR: I get a bit lost with some of the jargon here, but your contention is that this trial actually didn't change the flight path that was used for take-off and landing. Is that correct?

Prof. Foth : Correct.

CHAIR: Is my conclusion correct?

Prof. Foth : Yes, Senator, that is correct. In a nutshell, what happened was that in the lead-up to the 2022 federal election, the coalition government set up BAPAF, which was another entity, I suppose, similar to AAB. It had different membership on it.

CHAIR: Right.

Prof. Foth : That committee recommended that trials were supposed to be done in order to give the community much more immediate relief. Those members were not aviation experts. However, in the last round of Senate estimates, we heard from Peter Curran, who blamed the members for not giving Airservices proper instructions to increase the height markers in order to conduct a proper trial.

CHAIR: Right.

Prof. Foth : So they have disingenuously interpreted the task they were given by this committee. They have, in fact, prohibited intersection departures, but that is completely useless without increasing height markers because, as you would know, pilots would enter into the flight management system the length of the runway, the weight of the aircraft and where they have to head to. If they point into the sky in the same spot, they will always aim at that same spot and reach that same spot whether they use the full length of the runway or half of the runway. That is the actual reason why Airservices' trial produced no noise reduction whatsoever. We heard from Ron Brent, the chair of AAB, that this had the same result in Perth. We believe that is the reason why the trials in both Perth and Brisbane need to be redone with proper independent experts that are actually increasing these height markers. You don't have to be an expert to realise that if I fly at an altitude over people before and then I fly at the same altitude afterwards, there's no difference.

CHAIR: There's no difference. Yes, I'm just trying to make sure I'm fully across it. The contention is—or, I suppose, the theory of the trial is—that if you put the height marker higher and the plane reaches altitude quicker, that will reduce noise for some communities at least. But, presumably, the corresponding cost—does it cost more? Does it use more fuel to get the plane to that height? What's the resistance to doing that?

Prof. Foth : First of all: yes, it does reduce noise, and it does reduce noise anywhere in the world—except in Australia. We don't believe that the laws of physics are any different in this country from what they are elsewhere in the world. The reason for the resistance is, really, profit. Profit is the No. 1 criterion that the aviation industry operates by, and so the real point there is the taxi time. It takes longer for a plane to taxi all the way to the very beginning of the runway and to turn around, so it does create efficiencies. But this is just one of the examples where profits, commercial considerations and efficiencies are trumping the protection of communities on the ground.

CHAIR: So it's not so much the use of fuel that's the extra cost; it's the time taken. Is that the contention of the airlines, or is it both?

Prof. Foth : It is probably a bit of both. But, again, we have now experienced four years—and some communities even longer; since Kevin Rudd marched in Oxford Street in Bulimba in the lead-up to him entering parliament—and we have not seen any compromise, any sacrifice or any kind of bone being thrown to the community by the airport or Airservices whatsoever.

From Additonal Docs, the Virgin opening remarks has been tabled:

[Image: pdf.png] Virgin Australia, opening statement, tabled by Stephen Beckett at public hearing in Brisbane on 15 April 2024.

[Image: 002-Virgin-Australia-Table-Doc-20240415-1.jpg]

[Image: 002-Virgin-Australia-Table-Doc-20240415-2.jpg]

As an update to the answering of QON etc, the following is from the Add Estimates report - see HERE

Quote:Questions on notice and Hansard Transcript

1.10 In accordance with standing order 26(9)(a), the committee set Thursday, 4 April 2024 as the date for the return of written answers or additional information in response to questions placed on notice during the initial hearings.
1.11 Written answers and information provided to the committee in response to questions on notice arising from the hearings have been tabled in the Senate and published on the committee’s website. Links to the Hansard transcripts of these public hearings, and to answers, tabled documents and additional information are available on the committee’s webpage www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Senate_Estimates/rrat.

By the due date (above), zero of the 12 CASA QON and only 3 of the 28 ASA QON have been answered. And of the 281 listed QON for Betsy's Dept and associated agencies, only 126 QON have been answered - UDB?? Dodgy

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Airbus Albo's (PMC) - 'HOW TO' on agency obfuscation of Estimates QON - UDB!  Dodgy

Courtesy the APH Parlview, via YouTube:


Senate Journal document link: https://auntypru.com/wp-content/uploads/...ressed.pdf

Senate Hansard link: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus...F&sid=0024

Quote:Senators Birmingham, Waters, Babet, Hanson And Roberts to move on the next day of sitting:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Coalition, with the full support of all non-Government senators, has forced the hand of the Labor Government to table a copy of the secret manual distributed by the Prime Minister's Office to departments instructing them how to avoid answering questions from the Senate, and

(ii) the manual requires urgent scrutiny, explanation and correction from the Prime Minister;

(b) requires the Minister representing the Prime Minister to attend the chamber on Thursday, 16 May 2024, immediately after the conclusion of private senators' time and prior to any other business being considered, to provide an explanation of no more than 5 minutes of whether the Prime Minister has seen the document tabled by the Government on Tuesday, 14 May 2024, whether other versions of the document exist, whether he approved the content of the document, to whom his office distributed the document, whether any revisions to the document have been made and if further advice has been provided to departments following the publication of the article; and that:

(i) any senator may move a motion to take note of the explanation, and

(ii) any such motion may be debated for no longer than 60 minutes, shall have precedence over all business until determined, and senators may speak to the motion for not more than 5 minutes each.

While on the subject of Senate Estimates QON, I note that the Additional Estimates QON were due to be answered by the 4 April 2024 (see last post) yet here we are (less than 2 weeks out from Budget Estimates) and from my calculations Betsy's crew (plus associated agencies) still have 109 unanswered QON of a total of 294 QON from Additional Estimates - WTD??  Blush

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For this we expend millions?

Background, without cost/benefit analysis from the 'Mandarin' and the 'Capital Brief'.

For generations now, the 'public service' has been refining and perfecting the dark arts  essential to their survival and prosperity. In one way, a modicum of sympathy could be felt, they are, after all dealing with politicians. Enough said.

"To ask the 'right' question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem."

Therein lays 'the problem' - Take questions asked at Estimates, consider the 'motive' underpinning the question and, more importantly, the sum total of 'changes' brought about from the answers. Slim pickings once the sound and fury ends. Count up, on one hand, 'changes' made to the aviation industry from direct questions asked; paltry don't quite cover it.

Never sure whether to laugh, cry or howl at the moon at the end of any 'Question' session. The serious shortcomings within the aviation governance sector are as clearly drafted as the solutions; yet round and round they tumble. Politicians ask - Officials duck; more time and money wasted - more regulation - less productivity the net result. But no matter; there is now an official manual on 'how to answer'. Brilliant, stellar and a real gift to the long suffering.

Sir Humphrey: "Unfortunately, although the answer was indeed clear, simple, and straightforward, there is some difficulty in justifiably assigning to it the fourth of the epithets you applied to the statement, inasmuch as the precise correlation between the information you communicated and the facts, insofar as they can be determined and demonstrated, is such as to cause epistemological problems, of sufficient magnitude as to lay upon the logical and semantic resources of the English language a heavier burden than they can reasonably be expected to bear."

Toot - toot..
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Albo's PMC how to obfuscate Senate Estimates cont/- Dodgy

Courtesy APH ParlView, via YouTube:


Hansard link: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bus.../&sid=0000

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