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Perhaps it is time to try a little of the old arts; those of persuasion.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the new DAS is simply unable to do the job – as requested by the Minister, required by law and demanded by industry.  Given that many believe the industry cannot continue to function in a viable manner under the present regulatory burden, which, if not removed will continue to discourage investment and financially disadvantage those remaining, the reforms become crucial to survival.

PAIN has been ‘running the numbers’ on lost investment opportunities.  You may not have noticed but the morale and productivity of farming community is blossoming.  Farmers under the tax law have taken to ‘spending’ on improvements, which breathes new life into the local communities where they shop – locally; and, the whole cycle of productivity and well being starts to make a better life for Australians.  It’s great stuff and it is how this nation was built.  Within aviation the reverse is happening.

I won’t bore you with the figures, but there is a truly alarming amount of money (many millions) which could and would have been invested in industry which has simply been withdrawn.  When it can cost many thousands of dollars and almost as many hours to have an AOC approved you can see the need for change in a practical manner.  No AOC, no business, no jobs, no development.  Same with ‘new’ equipment to an existing business; some of the cases examined beggar the imagination, the time, the cost the frustration; all detrimental, to the point where ‘investors’ simply walk away, refusing to throw good money after bad.

I digress – the point is holistic reform has been demanded by industry, supported by the Senate and the Minister.  The new CASA board fully supports the across the board changes.  The impediments to progress are artificial and generated from within the organisation which must be changed.  The resistance to change is now being aided and abetted by the CEO, who enamoured by part 61 has already undermined the spirit, intent and hard work invested in reaching a point where those changes, so critical to industry well being, can be effectively made.

The board could, with some difficulty terminate the CEO; but, there is a softer infinitely preferable solution; the Minister could under the Act put the brakes on, before the train arrives at the crash scene; part 12 gives the Minister, advised by the board all the clout he’ll ever need.  The will power to do this is his, and his alone to find.


12  Directions

(1)  The Minister may give the Board written directions as to the performance of its functions or the exercise of its powers.
(1A) Without limiting subsection (1), a direction under that subsection may require the Board to consult:
(a)  in the manner specified by the Minister; and
(b)  about matters specified by the Minister; and
©  with bodies and organisations specified by the Minister.
(2)  Directions as to the performance of its regulatory function shall be only of a general nature.
(4)  The Board must comply with a direction given under subsection (1).
(5)  This section does not affect the application of section 28 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 in relation to CASA.
Note:          Section 28 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act
1997 requires the Board to comply with General Policy Orders of the
Australian Government to the extent that they apply to CASA.


12A  Minister may give the Board notices about its strategic
direction etc.
(1)  The Minister may notify the Board in writing of the Minister’s views on the following matters:
(a)  the appropriate strategic direction for CASA;
(b)  the manner in which CASA should perform its functions.
(1A) Subsection (1) does not permit the Minister to notify views in relation to a particular case or a particular holder of a civil aviation authorisation.
(2)  In performing its functions, the Board must act in accordance with notices given under subsection (1).


12B  Minister may direct CASA to give documents and information to nominee
(1)  The Minister may direct CASA to give to a specified ministerial nominee any documents or information relating to CASA’s operations that the nominee requests.
(2)  CASA must comply with the direction. (3)  In this section:
ministerial nominee means a person whose responsibilities or duties include advising the Minister about CASA’s performance

and strategies.