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First this week’s #SBG: Of doing that which is needful.

It is quite difficult to nail down exactly which ‘what and when’ created the notion in the political mind that they should put as much distance between themselves and their responsibilities to the travelling public; particularly in relation to travel ‘by-air’. There is one ‘Daisy chain’ in history of significant events which provides some clues; it ain’t definitive, not quite: but it will serve as a starting point. Time travel back to Lockhart River, then Monarch, then Seaview – these events have three things in common. Serious inquiry, government involvement and serious recommendations. They also have been, as quickly as possible, shoved into the basement of Ministerial conscience.

“O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!” – ??

Not at all; say the conga line of Ministers who have quite happily delegated and abrogated all semblance of responsibility to the autonomous agencies. These, without a shred of pretence, forged ahead and built a system which is beyond the rule of law, impervious to Senate recommendations, unlimited power, unlimited money and fully capable of resisting any call by the industry for operational sanity. Fully supported by a string of Ministers who were carefully removed from the firing line. Add to this a series of Senate inquiries which were not only rendered nugatory, but made risible by simply having to accept that their deliberations and recommendations would and could, with impunity, be ignored. Gods alone know the cost in tax dollars – for zero benefit to the aviation industry.

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”

There are three such agencies which are charged, by the Minister to ‘manage’ all matters aeronautical; to wit, ASA, ATSB and CASA, although, to be fair, we must drag the BoM into the frame. ASA is a fiscal sinkhole rapidly descending into an area of great risk to air operations. ATSB is simply an international joke and the BoM a system of gambling on computer percentages, (+/- 70% for accuracy). Which leaves the well-defended CASA bastion as the stand out example of why, before something awful happens, some serious changes must be made; sooner the better for all – Minister to the puddle jumping set.

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. 

Truer words never spoken by Machiavelli – but it is time for a new system; the old one cannot stand. But, don’t believe me, do what I have done and speak openly, in confidence with ex-employees of the CASA. Those who resigned, those who were pushed, those who told to keep silent, those on the periphery of bastardry, those who’s expertise and advice was smothered and those who simply went along as far as they could and departed disappointed and dismayed. What is needed? The solution is breathtakingly simple – Parliamentary privilege given through a bipartisan full deck inquiry, examining previous employees and their reasons for leaving what should be a safe, well paid sinecure. There are good reasons for excluding all current CASA minions, the evidence clearly available from any study of Estimates records:-

“…in my own perilous position, and above all, in the remarkable game that I saw Silver now engaged upon-keeping the mutineers together with one hand, and grasping, with the other, after every means, possible and impossible, to make his peace and save his miserable life.”

Aye, it’s a mess; but if just one man, unafraid of being labelled a ‘disgruntled’ ex employee be prepared to step up to the line , and just one politician with a modicum of sense and a dash of conscience be prepared to take that evidence to full inquiry; then, perhaps, just maybe, the glowering skies over a failing industry could lighten enough for some hope of prosperity and continuance.  Right then, back to my knitting.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

Took a trip down memory lane last couple of days. Bright young spark invaded the stable; nephew. “What are these?” says he, pointing at my saw-horses. I explained their many uses and we dragged out an old, battered and scared example to examine. I had made it when about his age. “How did you make it”? asks he, in all sincerity, “could I make one”?  “No say I, you must make two”. “Show me” says he. “No – but I will help you make your own”. Talk about time travel; as I had with my Grandpapa, we began at the timber racks, examining several lengths and selecting the ‘best’ ones, explaining why. Measuring, layout, tricky compound joints, razor sharp chisels, lethal hand-saws, the ever deceptive ‘bevel gauge’ – we progressed through to ‘beer o’clock’ and he managed to finish one of the pair. Coke for him, Ale for me. – My reward “Can I come tomorrow, early, and finish the other”? Absolutely – to start at the beginning, learn, do, finish tidy and sharpen up ready for another day – hallmarks of good folk the world over..


Then from Accidents Domestic: Bloomsbury AO number; Popinjay (aka Mr Attribution) to the rescue ..etc??

Next from Search 4 IP: Popinjay to the rescue: Broome R44 in flight breakup FR released? & Addendum

And from bump in the night: Addendum to last

Then from For want of a nail: Chris Minns Govt to bring back Manly Freshwater ferries??


Then this week’s LMH: The Last Minute Hitch: 14 April 2023

And from AMROBA: Breaking News: Another White Paper 

Finally from the Snippets thread: Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price for PM!

MTF…P2 🙄