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It has been a ‘productive’ holiday season, the BRB almost totally unanimous in deciding to pursue a course of action which is firmly believed to be the only valid method to enforce true reform of the CASA. There is a trigger in place which, managed correctly, could bring about an inquiry, not into CASA – ‘the institution’ but the actions taken by various, individual CASA officers which have had a detrimental effect on industry business and individuals within the industry. Its time to out these individuals, at whatever cost, for the good of many. It is a dirty, thankless, time consuming job; but it must be done.

Going through the motions will be, as always, a longish process. It is hoped however that the interests of cross bench and independent Senators, along with the stalwarts from the RRAT can be attracted to support a very worthwhile cause.

In essence, the dice have been rolled and the game has begun. Before last Christmas break the Industry Complaints Commissioner (ICC) was given what amounted to a better chance to examine and rule on ‘complaints’, through reporting to the CASA Board of Directors (BoD) and the disbanding of the infamous Ethics Committee (ECC): an ‘internal’ committee which, stand alone, merits serious inquiry.

That aside, the ICC has been approached to examine three separate, but similar cases where complaints are made that CASA officers are alleged to have acted improperly. These allegations are neither frivolous nor vexatious and are fully supported by evidence. To explain, I need to digress. Midway through 2016 a serious complaint was registered with the ICC; this involved some scurrilous behaviour from CASA officers. The ICC was, happily, able to uphold the complaint and rectification was swift; full marks the ICC. All’s well that ends well does not apply. Directly attributable to the actions of CASA, a company lost the services of an experienced man and that man lost a position. Having the complaint upheld is a hollow, worthless sham. No one was punished, no one became unemployed (except the victim) and nothing at CASA changed because of it. The BoD were to ‘examine’ the case, but, with the passage of time, any hope of action of BoD action diminishes as the months roll by. The nett effect of the time, money and energy invested in ‘complaint’ rendered nugatory; again.

So, what to do? There is a formal system in place, the ICC has indicated, fair and square, that due to the ‘age’ of the ‘trigger’ complaints, his hands are firmly tied. The ICC has advised that if there is complaint with his ruling there is a course which may be followed, which is fair enough, but totally irrelevant to addressing the root problem.  The ICC also advises that (a) the DAS may be approached; or, (b) the BoD may be addressed. To sidestep either option would be foolhardy. The next contact will be made directly to the DAS, that failing, then the Board will be approached.

Both actions doomed to failure; but the steps are necessary. The DAS is ‘temporary’ so the matter will be hand balled directly into the ‘wait for the new boy’ basket; which lets the Board off the hook until such time as the ‘new boy’ gets comfy – exit a minimum six months of earning capacity for our Guinea Pigs 3. Eventually, an audience with the new DAS may be granted, no doubt a sympathetic ear will be afforded for 30 minutes and that, pretty much, will be it, except the Board will be guided by the DAS ‘opinion’ and that takes ‘meeting the board’ off the cards. But, these actions must be taken to remove any doubt from a Senator’s mind that there were ‘alternative’ ways and means to accomplish the goals, which had not been utilized, to the fullest extent.

So be it; but, the time line is running and the interested parties will be regularly and thoroughly briefed as will be such audience as this small forum has, on every painful step along the way to eradicating the inutile, those who have abused not only the powers granted, but perverted them. Tick tock say’s GD’s clock.