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An aviation researcher, writer, aviation participant, pilot & agricultural researcher. Author of over 35 scientific publications world wide.

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The Anti-corruption caravan meets the Senators with a Manifest of problems

The Senate estimates at Parliament Hause last night was an interesting listen.

A very poor performance by the CASA team, with stumbles and unanswered questions being the highlight of the night. That CASA was left to last thing was surprising, but a lot of Senators had their allocated question group at the end, particularly Senator Fawcett. A 10.30PM start with the questions!!

Acting CEO – Farquartson, missed many opportunities to make any definitive mark, stumbling over questions and the poorly framed answers.

Questioning on airports and responses to security by the Public Service were a priority of the Senators.

The presence as we entered Parliament of seriously armed guards showed this concern, but it is a shame to think in Australia, we need this type of response. Some of our members had not seen the “House on the Hill” and it always is impressive, but a shame CASA could not be ‘up to the game’!!

The stumbling of CASA over proper safety cases for regulations was obvious and CASA appears to be unable to come to terms with the extra costs it is causing with the industry acknowledged changes.

There were AVMED questions on the CVD question, which reaches the AAT today, but CASA avoided these, placing them on notice. Probably due to the presence of Chief legal officer Anastasi in the back rows.

Mr. Gibson was absent so Mr. Rudd could not ask him any questions to determine where the “..clear evidence…” that CASA possessed was located.

An interesting part of the proceedings was Ms Staib, from Air Services, who had dismissed a staff member, but never ntified the DPP [Department of Public Prosecutions], and rapidly pointed out by Senator Heffernan that non-reporting was a criminal act.

The caravan members were seen talking to Senators Sterle and Heffernan [Chair and Deputy  Chair] of the Rural Affairs Committee. Their presence was acknowledged by the studious and busy Senator Fawcett.

The subjects raised with these pivotal Senators included the following, with their relevant effects on aviation:

  • Wind Turbines and location;
  • CAA 9A;
  • AVMED – cardiac issues and failure of the PMO [Principal Medical Officer] to take account of properly qualified cardiac specialist, instead relying on his own opinions, which have resulted in substantial costs to the individuals and ultimately, the industry;
  • Slowness of answering queries, if at all;
  • Poor investigation of accidents;
  • Interference of CASA in investiagtions;
  • The Quadrio debacle;
  • The Rudd allegations by CASA;
  • Improper activities by CASA legal and
  • A range of other matters.

A 50 page manifest of relevant issues was presented to Senator Fawcett and Senator Heffernan.

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