Identification of problem – 101 for the student pilot, second nature to the experienced. When there is a problem a process of elimination will identify the cause. Within CASA there exists a serious objection to being reformed. When you add up the past two decades worth of inquiry, commissions etc. you find a staggering number of ‘reforms’ which have been stepped around, diluted, manipulated or blatantly ignored. Those ‘reforms’ have been generated by Senators, Ministers, Commissioners and Coroners; none based on whimsy, but cold hard facts.
So, it begs the questions – where is the hold up, who perpetrates it and who prolongs the agony?
The present situation – conflict if you will – has isolated two individuals – Mrdak and Aleck as the only two men left standing. The resistance to change remains robust and effective. McComic has gone, Farq-u-hardson – gone, yet the resistance remains as strong and complacent as ever. Aleck is bucking for the Deputy role; and IMO operating the endlessly working jaws of Slydmore and generally running the show as pleases him best. The Board want to bring in ‘new blood’ – instant conflict – with the established long serving players; Boyd hamstrung – the Minister disinterested and easily persuaded toward supporting the established putsch. Jeff, mate it has SFA to do with the CASA top 10; if they don’t like the boards decision, then tough totty, they can leave – it really is that simple. It is the Board’s decision, not theirs, never was. Anyway, you’d hardly know they were gone, except for the sudden increase in production. Crack the whip man, don’t fanny about.
Can it be proven that Aleck is the real power behind the thrones, king maker and head priest of sacrificial rites? May the title ‘leader of resistance’, by simple elimination, be bestowed? He is a constant factor and a long serving member, the only one left standing. Deep research into some of the dreadful aberrations nearly always uncovers his pugmarks around the borders of a kill; background analysis suggests stealthy but lethal involvement, often from a distance, but nonetheless effective for all that. Back as far as Lockhart the ordure of Aleck can be detected.
Then there is the great land grab to consider; aerodromes a prime target. With CASA in his back pocket and the Ministers ear, Mrdak’s part in the unfolding story of development begins to make sense. Whether Mrdak believes he is acting in the best interests of Australia is not a question which may be answered. A proposed change to the airports act may shed some light though.
But, prima facie, the CASA resistance to reform must be lead, the reasoning for change must be manipulated, diffused, diverted and delayed. There are only two men left standing; one of whom could be dealt with by the CASA board. In isolation would the hapless Skidmore follow his leader? Then perhaps we could, as the ASA must do; open the doors to real talent, select a reform DAS and deputy, then get this bloody reform show on the road; before we run out of juice, sitting frustrated at the holding point.
Reform of CASA must begin at the top, leaving the head on a snake is a dangerous game to play.