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First this week’s #SBG: Sounds of silence – Echos of the past.

Having Estimates being on the near horizon always gets the old memory box chugging away; and, of course comparing the sessions and battles between folk like Murky and Heffernan; Xenophon, Fawcett, Nash and many many others of ‘good will. They never did kick too many goals but, at very least, they tried and often won the skirmish but never quite got around to winning the battle – such is political life. Any BRB ‘discussion’ invariably drags in ex Ministers. Now I admit Aunt Pru gave them hell, all in a good cause – reform. But at least they were ‘visible, active and involved’; maybe even a little interested beyond ‘politics’. We delighted in goading them to do more;  bless, cuss and respect ’em, they did try; and, we always had something to ‘work’ with. But this new minister, apart from being completely disinterested in the portfolio, has maintained a profound silence related to any and all ‘matters aeronautical’ if not a disinterested disdain.

“Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward.”

The incumbent ‘outfit running the joint’ seem to be happily sitting deaf, dumb and blinkered: awaiting Albo’s great white paper; (another one) sigh. It may well turn out that ‘the department’ have realised that they do have some significant power and can actually ring the changes through enforcing ‘compliance’ with ICAO – they can actually insist on this. So now we toss a coin and wait for Estimates to see if, perhaps, maybe, the department has ‘grasped the nettle’ and see that the simple, common sense way forward is to align Australia with the rest of the world. Betts is no mans fool, the chap drafting the white paper is a clever lad; and, gods know the facts and evidence are there in abundance. They must know – that to remain relevant and in touch with global aviation reality the only way forward is ICAO compliance – the deal we signed up to in Chicago (the one small convention most of the world signed up to). Australia did and then happily toddled off to not only ignore that, but have deliberately become the nation with the most lodged differences; al’a Aleck and his long time, (not at the ‘bar’) mate Illich. Enough said.

“I don’t think…” then you shouldn’t talk, said the Hatter.”

So; what’s on the Sterle agenda for the next round of Estimates? ‘Silence, was the Sterle reply’ – more silence; great sheets of the stuff – why? If ever an outfit was in need of a ‘good seeing to’ it is the ATSB and yet, they are excused. How, under any sensible, responsible government can the ATSB be not only questioned about their almost unbelievably poor performance, the time taken and the money spent in achieving this great ‘so what’. Whilst claiming – in the name of ‘improved’ safety outcomes through expert ‘examination’, recommendations and enforcement of their safety reports to be ‘effective. The answer is they cannot be; not on current performance; to acknowledge this at Estimates level would make it ‘official’ and there would have to be change. Aye, silence – is the cowards answer; don’t ask the question when the real answers would be ‘unpalatable’ to the protected minister. Bollocks..

“Facts have an inestimable value no matter how unpalatable they may be.”

But wait! – There’s more. As a long time ‘student’ of the ‘laws of probability’ and an active participant in real life where those laws apply; (bookies odds); I wonder whether Sterle has the balls, guts and heart to ask ASA what, in the seventh Hell they are playing at; and, (importantly) how are they going to fix it, and when; like now, today? In real numbers, the percentage chances of two public transport (voters) aircraft colliding are ‘remote’ – they exist, but with a fully operational and serviceable publicly funded Air Traffic Control (ATC) system the chances are ‘slim’ to anorexic – provided that service is ‘functional’ and is providing the service the public and air operators pay dearly for. FACT – it is not at the 100% best level, as advertised. What you will not see at ‘Estimates’ is top level ATC operators explaining why the level of service has diminished to the point where the risk of two aircraft ‘swapping paint’ has increased to a point where aircrew are ‘uncomfortable’. What you will see is Halfwit and his bean counter crying poor and denying that there are serious problems in the technical, operational and staffing areas. Obfuscation, time constraints and excuses are what Sterle will rule in next week, while the committee questions are simply run out of time and Questions on Notice (QoN) will be three months in the answering, carefully crafted to allow the Senators and minister ‘off-the-hook’. Don’t believe me – just sit through the session. The tote is open…..

“I could deny it if I liked. I could deny anything if I liked.”

CASA will, in all probability make an ‘appearance’ at Estimates – on late, as usual. The panel will be tired and distracted by all the left overs from other sessions and QoN answers they rely on. Pup Spence will do her usual imitation of the ultimate ‘slug-a-bed’ – dodging and weaving; totally incapable of admitting that CASA have engineered the worlds greatest cock-up of managing an aviation regulatory system; believe ICAO compliance is only a thing to frighten small children and that her and her ‘vertiport’ team and ‘car salesman’ mouthpiece have all the answers and Avmed is a world leader is aviation medicine. Sterle will follow the script like a good, little well trained party hack – his position of the how to vote card ensures that no boats will be rocked; or, allowed to be rocked at Albo’s estimates. He could explore why Albo’s fuel tax (a one off to bail out CASA) is still on – Nah; self interest, the party line, and disinterest in trucks, ships and planes, in that order will rule the chairman’s approach of what is supposed to be an ‘inquiry’ conducted on behalf of the travelling/voting/paying  public and their welfare will be spun off into the great wilderness of insignificant industry complaint. Bollocks writ large. The tote is open; all bets taken.

“Few love to hear the sins they love to act.”

Big dog just brought my boots to me; I can take a hint – lovely cool night, possums to bark at. Smells to follow, free to run, walk or canter as pleases. The cat, alas, prefers to sprint ahead, hide and jump out at the big dog – problem is big fellah knows exactly where the Mog is – and is quite capable of sneaking up behind and barking. Ever see a cat jump four feet up, vertical from a standing start – I have – and dogs can actually laugh; score about even – so far..


And from Senate Estimates: Senator (White paper – Rolleyes ) White politicises Women in Aviation Program – WTD?

Then from the miniscule’s thread: Proof miniscule has acquired ADPS? 

Plus from the Airports thread: Of Nonsense; that spoke and that writ.

And from the M&M thread: Best Betts gives a fist of solidarity to Albo’s VOICE!! 

Next from the AMROBA thread: AMROBA exposes CASA’s ineptitude, ignorance and liability on current LAME shortage?? – UDB! 

Finally from joining the dots: Dots-n-dashes on DFO approval process investigation?? 

MTF…P2 🙄