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Well; 2017 arrives.

We could, I suppose, look forward with hope for a better, safer, saner world; but since the cave mankind has been trying that, without too much success. I find, as the years roll by that it’s the small things which bring cheer and happiness – things like the bus arriving on time, or two green lights in a row and a journey from A-B without a traffic snarl costing you precious hours which could be spent doing other, pleasanter things.  It is just as well these small pleasures happen once a while. Expecting the big ticket items getting ‘sorted’ to cheer you seems as unrealistic now as it was when I first fully realised there were such things. Life on Earth has always been so; war, famine, pestilence, poverty etc.  But I do think it is reasonable to expect a certain amount of ‘good news’, particularly in relation to things that can be changed, fairly quickly, simply and inexpensively.

Like, say for example the Australian aviation industry, where, clearly it is to everyone’s advantage to make things ‘better’. Did that happen in 2016? Of course not. Could it have happened in 2016? It bloody well should have – alas. Australian aviation enters the new year still burdened by the same troubles; the same unresolved issues, the same deft deflection of meaningful reform, the same denial that there are serious problems. Mind you, as the industry shrinks, real reform and good management become of less concern to the people who not only created the aberration, but have the power to fix it. Amazing. Enough of my maudlin waffle – now, where was I. Ah, yes.

For sheer entertainment value the ‘drone’ saga continues to delight, gloriously illustrating the inability of CASA to manage matters aeronautical. The entire story from go to whoa is a classic tale of ineptitude, incompetence, ministerial ignorance and arse covering. All there, a complete snap-shot of the expensive totally inept, expensive, lazy, expensive, shiftless, expensive, useless expensive system, from the minister down. But, for me at least, the real howler is the ever tightening, huge, Topsy like volume of rules controlling, licenced, qualified pilots – it’s “for safety’s sake”, you understand.  Yet any bloody hoon can buy an Aldi special, fly the thing anywhere he likes, with not even a semblance of regulatory control, policing, skill test, knowledge test, medical or insurance. What a ducking farce.

The star of the comedy is of course ‘the minister’ for transport who, on a daily basis, sits by the guillotine, chatting with friends and watching the wholesale decimation of an essential, once thriving industry.

You must bear in mind that the Australian tax payer, pays this man (and many, many others) very well to ‘take care of business’. Such a sweet irony.

At least the big insurers have their finger on the pulse and are reducing their exposure.

Smart fellahin those ;and, they know all about qualifying and quantifying risk and how best to mitigate it. I’d bet a beer, their legal eagles can spot the holes in the aviation law cheese and have moved to lessen the worry and exposure that causes.
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Of course they can’t do much about contaminated ground water or properties becoming almost worthless overnight – that, as they quite correctly point out, is a job for the government.

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This hot potato came through the front door and was whisked out of the back door, so fast, that only the faintest trace of the rank smell lingered in the corridors of power, to be denied, deflected, manipulated and buried with indecent haste at minimum cost and no ‘political’ damage.

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2017 is also shaping to be the year the MH 370 tombstone is finally erected; last respects paid and everyone back in the limo and off to lunch.

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Datuk Kok Soo Chon, the investigator-in-charge of the Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 MH370 (JIT) accident investigation.

By the end of this year, 370 will be a dim, distant memory to the majority – “Oh, was that the one disappeared all those years ago more tea Vicar?– did they ever find it?

Aye well; no doubt a happy thought and a smile or two will turn up today; always does. So – happy new year to one and all.

{Whistles up dogs, ambles off into the beautiful dawn in the certain knowledge that the breeze, the river and the most excellent canine companionship will work its usual magic}.

Toot – toot.