Even then; wind assisted, this benighted industry can’t hit the barn door of change. I read much about ‘changing’ the Act, I have no quarrel with the proposal, even less with some of the suggested ‘philosophy’. Those who believe the Act is the key to industry prosperity and well being are articulate, intelligent, sensible folk; experienced and wise in the workings of ‘departments’. From an academic stance the proposal has merit, weight and a very firm grounding in law, rather than policy.. While changes to the Act provide a legal ‘foothold’ for change; it does not however ‘police’ the demanded changes, nor the spirit and intent of change. Like water finds its way around a rock, so will those who will resist any and all change find a way to circumvent good intentions.
There is only one thing going to change CASA and that is CASA. The deeply entrenched problems lay in one area only – in the attitude, not the Act. The tales of piss poor attitude, incompetence, arrogance, personal animosity and payback are manifold and legendary. These tales do not stem from the Act; they originate from people, those employed by industry funded CASA. Apart from being used as top cover for the gross indecencies; the Act had SFA to do with the Chambers report. Chambers, those above him and some of those beneath happily arranged the embuggerance of James; Pel-Air sat back and let it happen. Quadrio, another tale of venality and embuggerance. Airtex, Barrier, Polar, Canley Vale, the recent excesses displayed by various regional departments; you know the ones, those which no one dare speak of for fear of retribution and audit. The Act had sod all to do with these anathemas; people did.
Until there is a serious top level change of ‘attitude’ demonstrated and clearly articulated by a Senate sponsored ICC investigation into the behaviour of CASA employees and something done about the results, nothing will change. You can lobby, pressure, consult, collaborate, waste wind, time and words until you are blue in the face. Nothing is going to change until CASA changes. That can only happen through an internal operation. That involves selecting the ‘right’ DAS.
The DAS has the clout to make these internal changes. The DAS can, without any assistance, conduct internal investigations and make a case for dismissal. The CASA is riddled with bullies, cowards and incompetents. Fire half a dozen or six of the worst (list willingly supplied) and the rest will fall into line. The ‘attitude’ of those remaining will never change, but they will have to sit quietly so long as they are out gunned by newly appointed ‘white hats’; or leave. Inshallah.
Forget about changing the Act, that’s a nice to have; set aside regulatory reform that’s an easy fix. Start the change by demanding that the new DAS has the courage and integrity to tame the rampant beast first. Bring the CASA operatives to heel, stop the blatant lying and deceptions, hire some competent airmen to work with operators, make compliance a joint effort not a battle to the death. Change CASA and watch industry rapidly find it’s true potential. It is that simple; we have a simple minister who would love to get the industry off his back; so, present easy solutions. CASA have created this bloody shambles; the distrust and the disdain. Not the minister, not the local MP, certainly not the industry. But of course industry simply dare not speak out, because if they do and nothing gets ‘fixed’ the cost of retribution will be horrendous. Why? Well children that’s because CASA keeps getting away it, that’s why and ‘we’ let ‘em. They did invent, promote and foster the ‘fear of loss’ syndrome as well as the ‘mystique’. Hellish position – damned if you do; damned if you don’t.
Change the bloody Act, change the flaming regulations, change to colour of the bog paper; if it pleases: but until CASA is changed; nothing will change, not for the better anyway. Now all aboard the merry go round.