Senate Estimates - 2017-18.
(04-09-2018, 12:30 AM)Peetwo Wrote:
(03-14-2018, 07:17 AM)Peetwo Wrote: Dick Smith - so close but no cigar... Confused

Talking about politicians and government aversion to tackling anything to do with aviation safety regulatory reform and a seemingly untouchable Big "R"-regulator - the following article courtesy of the Oz shines a light on just how close we were to getting a legislative change to the Act Undecided before BJ was politically nullified:

Quote:Joyce saga sank aviation reform

[Image: cd7c00aa7b8af387b7f48c116a6c8b56]12:00amANDREW BURRELL

Dick Smith won approval for slashing crippling aviation costs, but the deal crashed with Barnaby Joyce’s resignation.

Hot off the press this evening... Rolleyes

Via the Oz:

Aviation reform ‘grounded’ by Barnaby’s successor

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Barnaby Joyce and Deputy PM Michael McCormack in Question Time. Picture: Kym Smith

The Australian 8:50PM April 8, 2018

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Tasmania Correspondent Hobart

A push to reform aviation laws to reduce crippling costs and red tape appears grounded, with new minister Michael McCormack refusing to embrace changes agreed by his predecessor.

Former air safety boss Dick Smith in February claimed to have secured a commitment from then-deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and Labor’s Anthony Albanese for bipartisan changes to the Civil Aviation Act.

The changes were aimed at reducing what Mr Smith and others in the industry see as a needlessly costly and onerous regulatory burden on general aviation.

Mr Smith told The Australian that in discussions last week with Mr Joyce’s replacement, Michael McCormack, he refused to embrace the reforms. Mr McCormack, who became Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister on February 26, yesterday confirmed he was yet to back changes.

However, he insisted he was still considering them. “I have met Dick Smith and spoken to him a number of times on the general aviation regulations,” he said. “While I understand Mr Smith’s passion on this matter, my job is to ensure policy changes are given the due consideration needed. I will take the time needed to consider options and to have further conversations with industry and my colleagues. You cannot rush policy outcomes, especially when it involves people’s safety. If changes are possible, they will be properly considered and broad consultation will be held before any decision is made.”

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Michael McCormack in the House of Representatives. Picture: Kym Smith

Mr Smith said he was convinced Mr McCormack had effectively dumped the reforms. “It was very clear to me that he was going to do absolutely nothing — he will sit on the fence,” Mr Smith said.

“I just feel sick. Barnaby Joyce was absolutely definite: this is what was going to happen. Michael McCormack is the complete opposite.

“It looks as if we will have another five to 10 years leading to the complete destruction of our once viable general aviation industry.”

Backed by many in the general aviation sector, Mr Smith negotiated with Mr Joyce and Mr Albanese to amend the section of the act that requires the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to “regard safety as the most important consideration” in regulating the industry.

Under the planned changes, CASA would instead be required to seek the “highest level of safety in air navigation” alongside the need for “an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry”.

Mr Smith said the act’s current wording on the primacy of safety was “a lie”, with big airlines able to use their clout to balance safety with affordability, leaving the less powerful general aviation sector to cop the brunt of needless red-tape.

General aviation includes charter and air rescue operators, agricultural and firefighting aviation, training, surveying and recreational and sports flying. Many complain inflexible regulations have hit viability, including of pilot training and contributed to a shortage of regional pilots.

CASA says it is already obliged to consider the cost impacts of decisions, although Mr Smith said this obligation was contained in guiding principles, rather than being a key feature of the act. Mr Joyce could not be contacted. Mr Albanese declined to comment.

Update: Worthy comments courtesy Kaz... Wink

Quote:Kaz: The apathy towards safety within the Aviation Portfolio is frightening. Political donations and persuasions from large co-operations are far more powerful incentives than factual safety issues. 

The safety loop is not being closed, despite the "philosophy" written on each Aviation agencies websites. This has a domino effect with a negative outcome on the economics associated with Aviation, in particular, general aviation.

I too have met with Senators, DP's, MP's, written mountains of requests into aviation safety, spoken to international aviation agencies, been involved in a Senate inquiry and much more.

It's not just Dick on this mission, it is many others too, but our voices are not heard as we are not "up there"on the social/media platform
I can assure you all that the obstruction of safety is real. Copious amounts of evidence has proven this, yet it has historically fallen on deaf ears within the Government as there is no monetary benefit for the agencies. The lack of accountability, on both sides, is phenomenal and no Minister has yet faced it head on to change the practice from reactive to proactive safety.

Our Aviation leaders need to be pulled into line by a gutsy Minister with the balls to face the bureaucrats that rule this country. As it stands, I see our Aviation Agencies as a kind of massive law firm that spends more money annually defending itself from accountability than it does on safety and general aviation issues.

This I know to be true, and a whole lot more that is very disturbing. All facts. 

Myself and many others have been actively involved with the Senate committee that have been attempting to deal with these issues over the past 8 years.

It is a merry-go-round of wasting tax payers money as there are few and far between recommendations adhered to. 

Millions I would estimate...alas, FOI's can not even find that sort of information.

I have witnessed this dangerous, self-serving behaviour to be true as I have had to battle for justice after being in a horrific plane crash myself in 2009. A preventable plane crash...IF, our agencies had done what us tax payers need them to do, protect us.

To this date, NO POLICIES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN FOR INTERNATIONAL AIR AMBULANCE SAFETY BY OUR GOVERNMENT, despite an air ambulance crashing into the ocean as it ran out of fuel at night, with the patient on board, who is now dead due to complications from the crash. Not one thing has changed..and that is just the tip of this great big, corrupt iceberg parked in the offices of the department of infrastructure aviation's division. 

POLITICS AND PLANES DO NOT MIX. It's not a game of egos you fools!

Do the bloody jobs that you are elected to do.

@Len If safety is the most important consideration it clearly means that the cost of the air ticket is secondary. That would result in most country towns having no air service as un- affordable control towers and radar are installed to improve safety. This would result in more people being forced on the far less safe roads- which is happening now!

I have watched , with despair , the gutting of my passion and livelyhood by successive governments for the last thirty years . The rudd/gillard/rudd years were the worst but the rot started before that .

I am now , prematurely retired and will be needing a part pension because these mongrels ripped my ability to function profitably to shreds so providing for my retirement was ripped away . In 45 years in this industry I saw what should have been a burgeoning general aviation seector turn into a shadow of itself . The majority of flying hours now seem to be concentrated in a few vertically intergrated flying schools with fifo students and staff with very little benefit to local communities and even their lives are made difficult .

Safety has always been a priority for us in this industry whereas red tape is the focus of government oversight . The benefit to the industry is non existent and the apparent improvements track almost precisley the recuction in hours . No benefit and scorched earth has been the result .


As a pilot and business owner in this sector I can tell you that unless the changes promised by Mr Joyce do not happen quickly there will be no general aviation industry in Australia shortly. Once again government intervention and over regulation has killed another once great Australian industry and this under a supposedly business friendly government. In fact the Libs have lost the plot and look more Labor and the Greens every day.

MTF...P2 Tongue
Full steam Skipper? – not yet; but soon.

Here's your 'one' for today Rex, chew on this. - Back in the day, some chap with a beard and a walking ‘staff’ came down off some godforsaken mountain with a couple of stone tablets. Ten simple rules – that was all, the god de jure reckoned that was plenty of rules to see the world right and keep things on the square, the straight and the narrow. The quote below ain’t eloquent or even well drafted – but it does, much like the stone tablets, set down ten good guidelines for a starting off place – along the road to true reform. “We’ the people who pay for the politicians salaries, perks, little fiddles and general fiscal well being are becoming just a tad weary of the way things are done; or to be precise – ain’t done. The bloody aviation industry is in a hell of a state – a mess – simply because the politicians can’t get off their well fed beam ends and read the words below. What they scared of? The ‘Safety Boogie-man’? Well they should be – he was invented for the control of gutless, inutile, self serving, greedy useless bastards – by the agencies the politicians built to cover their sorry arse ends. Shame on the whole lot of you. One of the very few ‘dinkum’ things Australia had was the pride taken in providing aviation excellence. No longer – Reform the Act, rebuild ATSB and CASA, copy the FAA regulations; but above all – man up, grow a set. You take the money, kudos and pension don’t you? Well do the job properly, with a good heart or piss off back to the sheltered workshop that spawned you.

1. A regulation rewrite by a government body that has taken decades longer than anticipated and is still ongoing (and NZ who did similar achieved and implemented decades faster). At what cost? To achieve not a simpler system but a more arcane one.

2. An aviation industry that is struggling to survive. Closures of maintenance, charter and training organizations across the country. Loss of facilities, skills, corporate knowledge. Loss of public benefit that having a viable GA industry provides.

3. A shortage of pilots in the airlines. Australian flying schools disappearing and talk of having to get overseas pilots to fill vacancies because we are not able to train our own. We used to train not just our own pilots but large numbers of overseas pilots.

4. Regional aviation industries, jobs and services disappearing. Higher costs to regional residents for transport and closures of local business and loss of employers.

5. The body responsible for overseeing the industry keeps growing larger and is imposing more and more onerous restrictions on the industry and there is much doubt within the industry about the actual safety value of those restrictions.

6. Huge antipathy and distrust between the regulatory body and the industry it serves.

7. An industry in crisis that wants a regulatory body that includes in its charter some responsibility for assisting maintain the viability of the industry it serves instead of its current narrow focus on imposing regulation without any need to consider the practical impact of those regulations on the viability of the industry.

8. An industry whose health and viability depends on maintaining a high level of safety but that feels it is having onerous and often poorly thought out regulations imposed on it that are not so much about practical safety outcomes as the appearance and ease of enforcement by the regulator.

9. Governments over decades that have washed their hands and allowed the regulator to continue to act without regard for the viability of the industry because they are too scared to make decisions that may impact safety (or the perception of safety).

10 Handing over of commonwealth aviation assets that have served a vital role in the aviation industry (and its benefit to the community) to private hands who then develop and those assets to maximise their profits in ways that reduce or remove aviation from the facility.

I would, very much, like to remind the lawyers, journalists and other alternate ‘lifestyle’ wannabe politicians of the very real  roots of aviation excellence, paid for in blood, and the type of men and women who by paying a bitter price, made it so, guided by real leadership, and a simple, fundamental will to make this a better world – not a trough of plenty for the few.


Unfuckingbelievable! So I do a stint working within the bowels of ICAO Montreal and spend the good part of a year shredding CAsA audit reports, destroying photos of the Screaming Skull dancing naked in his apple catchers on the flight deck of a CX plane, and I spend the past 3 months trying to hide the fact that I am actually the father of the baby gestating in the womb of Barnaby’s girlfriend - only to hear that McCormack (yes, almost a Screaming Skull but not quite) has beaten down Dick and reneged on Barnfind’s promise!! All these magical political hands massaging the aviation turd to no avail. SHAME SHAME SHAME. Mr McCormack you pathetic weasel - we are watching you. As you fail the Australian aviation public just as your predecessors did we will be highlighting, spotlighting and displaying your ineptitude. With a Federal election on the cards within the next 12 months you are taking a big risk by banging nails into the aviation coffin.

Oh honorable Minister, if you think Barnfind and Cancer Head Truss copped some shit well then you better hold on to your britches bitch cos you ain’t seen nothing yet. TICK TOCK

With love
The Gobbledock
(04-11-2018, 10:05 PM)Gobbledock Wrote: THE TURD IS STILL BEING POLISHED......

Unfuckingbelievable! So I do a stint working within the bowels of ICAO Montreal and spend the good part of a year shredding CAsA audit reports, destroying photos of the Screaming Skull dancing naked in his apple catchers on the flight deck of a CX plane, and I spend the past 3 months trying to hide the fact that I am actually the father of the baby gestating in the womb of Barnaby’s girlfriend - only to hear that McCormack (yes, almost a Screaming Skull but not quite) has beaten down Dick and reneged on Barnfind’s promise!! All these magical political hands massaging the aviation turd to no avail. SHAME SHAME SHAME. Mr McCormack you pathetic weasel - we are watching you. As you fail the Australian aviation public just as your predecessors did we will be highlighting, spotlighting and displaying your ineptitude. With a Federal election on the cards within the next 12 months you are taking a big risk by banging nails into the aviation coffin.

Oh honorable Minister, if you think Barnfind and Cancer Head Truss copped some shit well then you better hold on to your britches bitch cos you ain’t seen nothing yet. TICK TOCK

With love
The Gobbledock

Where'ya'bin Gobbles? Luv your style and great timing it seems we have another miniscule bunfight on our hands... Tongue

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The Australian
McCormack faces aviation dogfight. Deputy PM Michael McCormack in Townsville. Picture: Alix Sweeney

McCormack faces aviation dogfight

Australia’s general aviation ­industry will campaign against Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack in his electorate, potentially even standing a candidate against him, if he fails to endorse regulatory reform.

The Aircraft Owners and ­Pilots Association yesterday told The Australian it would set up a campaign office in Wagga Wagga, in Mr McCormack’s Riverina electorate, and consider running a candidate, if he failed to commit to changes to the Civil Aviation Act.

“The general aviation industry is in a perilous situation,” AOPA chief executive Ben Morgan said. “For the minister to come out and say he needs time (to consider reform) … is almost laughable. The Nationals have had carriage of the transport portfolio for many years.

“If our minister is not going to listen, I wonder if the people of Wagga would be prepared to have a conversation. We may even need to consider putting candidates forward (in Riverina and other electorates) … to see that these issues are resolved.”

AOPA, which represents thousands of pilots and business owners in general aviation across the country, is backing changes to the act negotiated by former civil aviation safety chief Dick Smith. Mr Smith in February revealed he had found consensus on amendments that then-deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce and Labor’s ­Anthony Albanese both indicated they could support.

These would require the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ­operate in a manner that recognised the need for “an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry”, as well as the “highest level of safety in air navigation”. Many in general aviation, which includes charter, air emergency, pilot training and agricultural operations, believe the act’s current requirement on CASA to “regard safety as the most important consideration” has led to a tangle of costly, needless regulation.

Mr McCormack, who succeeded Mr Joyce on February 26, this week declined to endorse the Smith changes.

But yesterday Mr McCormack said he was happy to meet AOPA to discuss its concerns and reform ideas. “The deputy PM is certainly open to reform, after due consideration is given to any proposals put forward,” his spokesman said. “Reform such as this takes time to ensure everyone’s views are considered and to ensure there are no unintended consequences.”

CASA argues it already considers the financial impact of its regulations, but the issue is gaining traction nationally, with a Senate inquiry taking evidence about the impact of regulation on regional aviation costs.

Inquiry member XNT senator Rex Patrick called for urgent action to tackle the “cost of CASA” and produced CASA data showing revenue from its regulatory service fees rose from $2.9m in 2000 to $13.9m in 2017.

CASA’s staff ballooned from 621 in 2007 to 830 in 2017, while its operating budget rose from $129m to $180m over the same period. “Something has to change,’’ Senator Patrick said.

Mr Morgan said the decline in general aviation was undeniable, with 25 per cent of the fleet of 2993 aircraft not in use. 

Good to see your back and the key to the Tim Tam cupboard is in the mail... Wink

MTF...P2 Tongue

Thank you P2, it’s good to be back! I don’t yet feel as if I’ve earned that prized AuntyPru possession ‘the key to the Tim Tam cupboard’. Plus I’ve put on 20 kg’s from eating caviar, truffles and lobster while swilling champagne while working as a bloated bureaucrat at the ICAO Montreal precipice of Aviation luxury !

Down to business. Ben Morgan is a trooper. A champion. And he has more hair on his balls than any limp wristed politician will ever have. AOPA mean business. I can’t wait to see the AOPA campaign bus complete with anti McCormack slogans pull up behind every event that McCormack attends in his electorate as he pork barrels his way to what will be an election thrashing anyway. Hopefully the media will have a field day. And placing candidates in the electorates of these current muppets is a great idea that will
be very well supported. McCormack has drawn first blood so war it is.

You know, it’s strange how in a supposed robust Western democracy such as Australia, a country in which Turdball purports that there couldn’t be a better time to be alive, we have Aviation business and individuals dying in droves, pensioners starving, unaffordable health care and low wages, all of this while our Government gives billions away in foreign aid and drops $650k bombs on Afghanistan.

TICK TOCK LNP. ‘Unsafe seats for all’.
Comments in reply to the invisible DPM Oz article - Rolleyes

1st from Sandy... Wink

Quote:Alexander - The dam wall will burst soon and all over the Nats who have allowed Can’tberra bureaucracy to get away with blue murder for years. CASA was set up 30 years ago as an independent Commonwealth corporate, to neatly avoid Ministerial responsibility and to charge fees for ‘service.’ Its priority was to rewrite the rules, its still not finished, and never will until Parliament wakes up. CASA always cries “safety,” like crying “wolf,” maybe now that the public is becoming aware we will see some action. Thanks much to the Oz.

Meanwhile yippee, a salary factory make work program untrammelled by any rational constraints resulting in a devastated General Aviation industry. Devasted by fee gouging, fees for all sorts of unnecessary permissions none of which needed in other jurisdictions, such as the US which arguably has a better safety record. Unworkable rules that require new staffing positions, CASA approved persons, which is sending businesses broke and denying flying services, training charter and scheduled, to rural areas.

Mr McCormack we are up to HERE with consultations, reviews, discussions, Parliamentary investigations, Minister commissioned reports, Darren Do Nothing Chester BITRE report and waffle.

The independent corporate CASA is the most wasteful entity in Canberra, a failed model of governance that has cost GDP and loss of tax revenue far in excess of its fees gouged from a shrinking GA industry. We even have got to find airline pilots from overseas, how mad is that! Alex in the Rises

& fm George :

The Ministers take advice from their bureaucrats who always seem to get their way. If it is not in the interests of the current departmental/bureaucratic policy, it won't happen. The more regulations and red tape, the more bureaucrats are needed to administer it, meaning bigger budgets and more staff all of whom have a vested interest in making regulations where non existed and where none are needed, to keep their sweet pie expanding.

& in reply Leonard:

You are right about the bureaucrats George. Remember CASA's unofficial policy, "We are not happy until you are unhappy".

& fm Peter:

This Mc Cormack will tread slowly like a tortoise. It sounds like CASA needs som cutting of staff, trimming of useless regulation and a refocus on safety. The senate inquiry should force some of the changes required. Conservatives by nature will be like dynamic inertia in the face of change. That's why they have the label Conservative

Just a short reminder that the present invisible, 'do nothing' DPM just so happened to make this 'luv speech' pitch to the Chairman of REX on the airlines 10th Anniversary; a week after the PelAir inquiry motion was passed in the Senate; and in the same year that REX donated 96K and 250K to the NATS and Labor respectively... Dodgy

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Mr McCORMACK  (Riverina) (19:20): Regional Express Airlines celebrated a tremendous milestone in aviation the weekend before last. The company commemorated its first 10 years with an open day and a gala dinner in its home base of Wagga Wagga. The Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Nationals were there to mark this auspicious occasion. Rex Airlines was born in troubled times. Just three days after those terrible events of 9-11, Air New Zealand, owner of Ansett Australia, could no longer support the haemorrhaging of funds at Ansett and grounded the airline. Ansett was placed into voluntary administration with PricewaterhouseCoopers. With the stroke of a pen, 16,000 jobs were lost and many more placed in jeopardy.

Hazelton and Kendell Airlines, traditional solid country carriers, were caught up in the maelstrom and, through no fault of their own, went under too. But there were those who believed; there were those who tried to resurrect what they could from the collapse. The former member for Riverina, Kay Hull, was one of them. She saw what a disaster it was for a city the size of Wagga Wagga not to have capital city air services, and she acted.

The then Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals Leader and Minister for Transport and Regional Development, John Anderson, listened and responded. He came to Wagga Wagga and advised a worried group of Kendell staff members that they would get their entitlements. To this, a heavily pregnant Amanda Myers—whose husband, Jason, was a pilot with Kendell and, happily, still is a pilot with Rex—called out: 'We don't want our entitlements. Put our money into getting our airline into the sky again!' Gravely ill Don Kendell was at that meeting. It would have broken his heart to see the airline he built on a wing and a prayer fail in his dying days. Don was promised that the region's air services, to which he dedicated his life, would be rescued, and thankfully that has happened.

Singaporean investor Lim Kim Hai was generous enough to put up his money and Rex took to the air on 2 August 2002, with 21 Saab 340 aircraft and seven Metroliner 23 aircraft. Kim Hai and Lee Thian Soo were the two largest founding shareholders. They initially intended being passive investors, but Rex became something of a passion for them. They saw the commitment of the staff, the dedication of the people who strove to make the airline succeed, and they reinvested heavily when Rex lost $30 million in its first financial year.

Lim and Lee then took up the challenge of running an airline, even though they had no experience in this field.

They flew in for a week every month to oversee all aspects of the operations and they dug deep to help keep Rex flying. The recovery was, as the recently published, beautifully presented hard-bound book detailing Rex's first decade recounts, 'slow and painful' but, at the end of the first year under their leadership, the company made a profit of $1 million. Since then Rex has made a profit each and every year and, in its 10th anniversary year, the Rex Group made more than $35 million profit before tax, with accumulated PBT of more than $213 million under their stewardship.  

At the end of the first 10 years Rex now has 35 ports in its network, 51 Saab 340 aircraft, 95 aircraft in the Rex Group and 1,059 staff members. Pilots have spent 60,000 hours in the simulator and there have been 575,756 take-offs and landings—that is a lot of hostess safety instructions—with 11,300,250 passengers. All up, Rex planes have flown 196,675,217 kilometres, equivalent to 255 trips to the moon and back, and have used 327,953,572 litres of fuel.

I am pleased to report that it was announced just yesterday that Rex has been ranked the best domestic airline for customer satisfaction for the month of July 2012 in the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards. Rex received an 88 per cent satisfaction rating in the surveys conducted by Roy Morgan, one of Australia's leading research companies.  

I congratulate all involved in Rex and particularly some of those key figures, who, as well as those mentioned, have helped make the company what it is today: Director Jim Davis; General Manager Engineering, Dale Hall; Executive Director, Chris Hine; General Manager Network Strategy and Sales, Warrick Lodge; 'Jack of all Trades' Warren O'Halloran, whose combined years with Rex and Kendell total more than 40 years; Deputy Chairman John Sharp; and Rex Chief Operating Officer, Garry Filmer.  

Rex is also training pilots of the future at its state-of-the-art Australian Airline Pilot Academy in the aptly named Don Kendell Drive at Wagga Wagga Airport.

Aviation is a volatile industry. I am confident, however, that Rex, with committed owners, diligent flight crew and ground staff and the spirit of Don Kendell and Max Hazelton in its wings, will have clear runways and blue skies for many more years to come.

Coincidence? - Yeah right and 'pigs might fly'!  Angry  

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MTF...P2  Cool

Wow, what a wonderful opposition Minister that McDo’nothing was. All touchy-feely, supporting poor REX, being an outspoken advocate for all matters Aviation! So what went wrong? Tsk tsk today he is now Minister for all things including Aviation and oh how the tables have turned. A good-for-nothing muppet sitting on two thumbs and firmly pressing the obsfucation button.

I wonder if McDo’nothing will host a gala ball at Parlousment House in a few months time celebrating the 30th anniversary of Australian Aviation Regulatory Reform? That’s right, the year before Rhode Island scholar and crusty old dingbat Bob Hawke jammed a monumental pineapple up the Australian pilots during the 89 debacle. 30 years and half a billion dollars later and what have we got to show - a bloated regulatory bureaucracy and decimated industry.

Mr McCormack (the word ‘honorable’ quite simply cannot be used) you are a political pustule on the buttocks of aviation. It’s time for you to sit down, shut up, and listen to industry. Your political future and unstoppable gravy train depends on it. Tick Tock Miniscule, Tick Tock.
Dick Smith/AOPA Oz/IOS vs McCormack update - Rolleyes

Via the Daily Advertiser:

April 13 2018 - 3:43PM

Dick Smith is backing aviators’ fight against Michael McCormack
  • Jody Lindbeck

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Millionaire aviator Dick Smith on a previous visit to Wagga.

Millionaire aviator Dick Smith is helping to bring an industry battle right to the doorstep of Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack.

Mr Smith has committed to being in Wagga for a fly-in rally which is being organised by pilots, who say their industry is being destroyed by delays in a planned overhaul of aviation safety legislation.

Mr McCormack took over the aviation portfolio when he replaced former Nationals Party Barnaby Joyce in February.

Aircraft Owners and ­Pilots Association (AOPA) chief executive Ben Morgan said his organisation wanted Mr McCormack to commit to changes to the Civil Aviation Act, which had been agreed to by Mr Joyce and Labor’s Anthony Albanese.

According to the AOPA, Mr McCormack has not yet agreed to these changes and was instead in favour of more consultation.

Mr Smith is also pushing to have Mr McCormack honour the previous Joyce-Albanese agreement.

The crux of the issue is that the current legislation requires the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to “regard safety as the most important consideration”.

The previously agreed amendments would ask that weight be given to the need for “an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry”, as well as the “highest level of safety in air navigation”, AOPA says.

“Basically, our general industry is nearly destroyed,” Mr Smith told The Daily Advertiser.

The pressure is already being applied with an AOPA campaign bus visiting Wagga and Deniliquin over the weekend.

“The general aviation industry is in a perilous situation,” Mr Morgan said.

“The Nationals have had carriage of the transport portfolio for many years. For the minister to come out and say he needs time is almost laughable. 

“If our minister is not going to listen, I wonder if the people of Wagga would be prepared to have a conversation?”

Earlier this week, Mr Morgan floated the possibility of the general aviation industry running a candidate against Mr McCormack in the next federal election.

He is already on the lookout for a retail space that will serve as an unofficial campaign headquarters and a “hangout” for people who want to know more about aviation.
Mr McCormack has been approached for additional comment.

And via Oz Flying today... Wink

[Image: Ben_Morgan-2.jpg]AOPA Australia CEO Ben Morgan. (Steve Hitchen)

AOPA to open Wagga Wagga Office
13 April 2018

AOPA Australia will open a campaign office in Wagga Wagga to take the fight for general aviation reform to the general public.

Wagga Wagga is in the electorate of Riverina, currently held by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack.

According to AOPA CEO Ben Morgan, the idea behind the field office is to recruit the people of Riverina to help lobby McCormack to make positive decisions to reform general aviation.
"This is now the battle for general aviation," Morgan told Australian Flying. "This is now the moment in time that we've been working for over the past 30 years. The industry has got to the point where its making a decision that we're making no ground, no progress towards meaningful reform and we have one option. If you can't get the minister to make a decision, if you can't get the minister's attention, the only other choice is to prosecute the argument to the people and let them decide the types of decisions that need to be made.

"The entire general aviation industry is at near-peak frustration. Decades have passed, associations have spent years lobbying government, lobbying CASA, lobbying ministers, and unfortunately we're having the same discussion we were having 20 years ago.

"AOPA's decision to come out and announce that we would set up a campaign office and take the fight to the electorate of Riverina is a direct reflection of the fact that we need to see action. We need to see political leadership, decision-making and support for the thousands of ordinary Australians who are working hard and are relying on general aviation to put food on the table, put their kids in school, to put rooves over their heads and have a superannuation fund available when they retire."

Morgan said he expected to be in Wagga Wagga this afternoon to meet with media and call for real estate agents to come forward with proposals for an AOPA office, which Morgan wanted to be large enough for the association to engage with the local membership and run events in the area.

Morgan said funding for the new office was to come from sponsors within the general aviation industry and a financial plan was currently being developed.

The Wagga Wagga office is part of a plan to always have an AOPA office in the electorate of the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and AOPA is seeking terms that would give them the flexibility to relocate the office to other electorates should the minister be changed.

"It will be a challenge," Morgan said, "and given the number of ministers we've had over the past couple of years and the instability there's a high likelihood we could end up with another minister in another electorate. The purpose is to demonstrate to the government that AOPA believe it is vital that we have field office location that is always in the transport minister's electorate.

"Although it's a frustrating decision, it's a very sensible and measured decision."

Morgan was very quick to quash suggestions that the concept of having a presence in the minister's electorate was an aggressive move designed to hamper the minister in his efforts to get re-elected in next year's federal election and said that the idea was to maintain direct lines of communication to the minister.

"The whole idea is not to go there to create upset, it's not to go there and trash the minister, it's to go there and have the conversation with the people in the electorate of Riverina and have those people start to encourage their representative, who is in charge of aviation, to make the responsible decision," he said.

Morgan also said that it would actually be beneficial to the general aviation industry to see McCormack stay in the portfolio for an extended period.

"AOPA would like nothing more than to have some stability in the Minister for Transport that will give us the opportunity to get on with the task of getting these problems fixed. We need to support that, and AOPA is absolutely ready to work with the Deputy Prime Minister.

"We are fully committed to providing every resource we can to assist the Deputy Prime Minister to achieve the reforms and outcomes that are necessary to get this industry going."


MTF...P2 Tongue
Read ‘em and weep – ABC and ‘The Land’. Then consider…Real Australians...(not city folks).

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A wise man once said -

I’d rather have ‘a-bottle-in-front-of-me’ than a frontal lobotomy. It sounds furry muff, unless you happen to be a minister of the crown. Seems that then, there is no option but to submit to the induction process. I mean what is it with these ‘ministerial types’? They go in there one assumes, fairly compos mentis –as in they can at least tie their boot-laces; and capable of at least basic, reading, writing and comprehension of same. So what happens after?

Look at the heartbreak about to be inflicted on the population of Far North Queensland (FNQ) and the Territory with regard to air routes, air fares and supporting infrastructure. This, without we even venture close to ‘control’ without subsidy – and who is Goanna is to pay for that? (Silly question really).

For those innocent, honest hopefuls  in FNQ and the NT; purely as a humanitarian gesture, I shall tell you exactly what will happen after this expensive, time consuming effort – SFA is what; now, get used to that notion. This ‘Senate inquiry’ and any recommendations issuing, will be treated as an opinion by the regulator, by the airlines and anyone else who wishes to take the Mickey out of a Senate inquiry. ‘Tis true – evidence out the Ying Yang to support.

They will listen to your arguments, speak softly of your pain and make you believe – absolutely; that something will be done. In truth, something will be done – over the next two or perhaps three years, they will ask many questions. Those questioned will, eventually send  the answers to questions ‘on notice’ – after taking quite a long while to provide ‘non answers’ which, in the meantime, Senators being ‘busy’ will be accepted, without challenge. At the end of it all, the believers will be ‘disappointed’ that the good guy Senators tried to change things; but - Etc Etc.

It is cynical and dishonest to let good folk believe things will change, when they never do.

It is cynical and dishonest to let good folk believe that anything they say or spend hours writing matters, when it just don’t signify.

It is cynical and dishonest to let good folk believe that the significant amounts of money paid out for these ‘inquires’ will ever lead to a meaningful outcome, when they never have, nor never will.

Never has; nor, never will this pantomime which has been running and publically funded for thirty odd years now ever produce an outcome. The bureaucrats are running the joint – with ministerial permission in place of ministerial responsibility (at the same rate of pay by the way). Neither the Senators or government have any control over ‘matters aeronautical’; they simply do not, having abrogated it to ‘the departments’ (at the same rate of pay).  

The really bad bit is they want the voters to believe they do. You see, before they lost control (gave it away for fear of taking responsibility) they could actually ‘do something’. Now they just make the right noises, take the money (big money for an inquiry); issue their recommendations, then bugger off to the pub – job done. All at tax and air fare payers expense; you don’t think they paid their travel, meal and accommodation allowance, as you did -  do you? (Tell me that ain't true).

One of the more cruel deceptions is that if the Senate actually grew a set and got CASA under control – small, regional air services could, once again, flourish. A Dash service from Isa to Bris, via Charleville; operationally easiology, financially do-able – but with Qantas opposition and CASA reluctance = mission impossible – these days. Used to be do-able – when governments actually governed the public service. This is no longer the case.

Not to worry – be happy that O’Sullivan has made more on this tour than any poor sod, on the land, trying to get his kids to school will in the next year of drought, flood, fire and pestilence. Don’t blame me: I just exist here – I don’t run the joint.

Ah!- Bugger it all –[whistle] – two more here – I have a great need of solace….Liquefied? But of course.

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“QANTAS boss Alan Joyce says Moranbah residents should just drive to Mackay or Rockhampton if they want cheap flights”.

This pretty much sums up the attitude of the airlines towards airports, and on this occasion it’s the CEO of Rainbow Airways taking a shot at a local community. The Moranbah community is being gouged, and it started when Virgin pulled out. A familiar story Australia wide when one carrier takes a monopoly over an airport. What the arrogant little Irish mincer doesn’t realise is that not every person who resides in Moranbah is a rich Miner. General businesses are trying to survive there, people fly to Brisbane for health services and the list goes on. Joyce’s comments reflect the disgusting profiteering attitude that this little gnome has thrust upon Australia. F#ck him.

Article below;
Update II - Dick Smith/AOPA Oz/IOS vs McCormack

(04-13-2018, 06:38 PM)Peetwo Wrote: Via the Daily Advertiser:

April 13 2018 - 3:43PM

Dick Smith is backing aviators’ fight against Michael McCormack
  • Jody Lindbeck

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Millionaire aviator Dick Smith on a previous visit to Wagga.

Millionaire aviator Dick Smith is helping to bring an industry battle right to the doorstep of Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack.

Mr Smith has committed to being in Wagga for a fly-in rally which is being organised by pilots, who say their industry is being destroyed by delays in a planned overhaul of aviation safety legislation...

Also via the Wagga Daily Advertiser:

April 15 2018 - 10:00PM
Wagga City Aero Club president backs federal election candidate as 'huge step' towards industry reform
  • Lachlan Grey and Jody Lindbeck

[Image: r0_101_2272_1378_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg]
SUPPORT: Aviators are calling for change and will consider running a Riverina candidate in the 2020 federal election.

Wagga City Aero Club has backed calls to run an aviation-focused candidate against Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack in the upcoming 2020 federal election.

It follows a sensational attack on the Nationals leader from aviation circles.

Both the Australian Aircraft Owners and ­Pilots Association and millionaire advocate Dick Smith spoke in favour of industry reform on Friday, challenging Mr McCormack to commit to changes to the Civil Aviation Act, which had been agreed to by former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Labor’s Anthony Albanese.

A spokesperson for Mr McCormack said he was “open to reform”, but argued reform “such as this takes time”.

This response was branded “laughable” by AOPA president Ben Morgan, who floated the possibility of running a candidate in the Riverina electorate.

Challenging the Deputy Prime Minister on home turf seems a tough proposition, but WCAC president Geoff Breust believes it’s a “huge step” towards positive reform.

“It’s a big call to run against Mr McCormack but I think it’s a significant reflection of how the industry is feeling. We see a disconnect between the overall needs of our industry and the actions of the federal government,” he said.

Mr Breust said frustration had been building among pilots and industry members given the National Party’s affiliation with rural communities.

“Small aviation businesses are really struggling … and those are the businesses that the Nationals should be fighting for,” he said.

“Pilot schools, engineer programs and smaller pilots in rural areas are typically National voters but they’re not being looked after in this case.”

Short interlude - Rolleyes

Also for those remotely interested in the progress of the Senate Air routes inquiry here are the Hansard transcripts available so far:

Quote:03 Apr 2018 Broome, WA (HTML & PDF)

04 Apr 2018 Alice Springs, NT (HTML & PDF)

05 Apr 2018 Darwin, NT (HTML & PDF)

10 Apr 2018 Longreach, QLD (HTML & PDF)
Next - Wink

It looks like Senator Rex 'gets it' and may well be on his way back from the AP 'Hall of Shame':

Political Turbulence Exacerbates General Aviation's Bumpy Ride: Urgent Action Required On CASA Over-regulation
12 APRIL 2018
Claims by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, that he will take his time to consider desperately needed reforms to General Aviation’s regulatory burden hides the real reason for the delay. 

“Inaction on mounting and calls for aviation regulation reform stems from the series of politicians flying through the Minister for Transport’s office”, said Senator Rex Patrick. “It’s busier than the Sydney-Melbourne air route, with Darren Chester being replaced by Barnaby Joyce who in turn has been replaced by Michael McCormack. 

“Any ministerial change causes delay. Minister McCormack is still trying to get his wings while the General Aviation that he’s responsible for is headed for a crash landing. An urgent change in flight path is needed."

The health of General Aviation has been in major decline over the past decade. Pilot numbers are falling, as are the number of small aircraft registrations. At the same time CASA’s staff numbers have gone from 621 in 2006/07 to 830 in 2016/17 and their operating budget has gone from $129 million to $180 million.
“Something has to change and quickly,” said Rex. “I am in absolute agreement with Dick Smith on this - we have to have a more pragmatic approach.

”Other jurisdictions provide a safe operating framework whilst having regard to the need for a healthy industry. We can and must do something here to arrest the decline in General Aviation - it’s a critical part of services to the regional areas.

“Right now we have pilots focusing so much on regulation they are distracted from doing what they are supposed to be doing - flying the plane safely.”

The ‘Cost of CASA’ has featured in submissions to a Senate Inquiry into the operation, regulation and funding of air route service delivery to rural, regional and remote communities. The Committee held hearings in Broome, Darwin and Alice Springs last week and in north-west Queensland this week (Longreach on Tuesday, Winton on Wednesday and Cloncurry today). A number of witnesses giving evidence to the Commitee have indicated that a shortage of pilots in regional areas is adding to the cost of regular public transport airfares. The Mayor of Cloncurry provided evidence at today’s hearing that they used to have a charter operator base out of their airport but this is no longer the case.

"General Aviation is the breeding ground for pilots. As General Aviation has been declining, so too have the number of freshly trained pilots entering the system," said Rex.

“Right now CASA seems to be taking a position that the best way to ensure there are no accidents in General Aviation is to make sure the cost of regulatory compliance is so high that planes just don't take off."

Trouble is he is one voice in a committee that has a troubling record of very little impact on reforming a deeply entrenched aviation safety bureaucracy, which has been ably supported (for 30+ years) by a series of indifferent and ignorant Government Ministers responsible for aviation... Dodgy

MTF...P2 Tongue
Its great to hear from Senator Rex Patrick. The realities of life and what is so obvious to anyone who cares to look at the disastrous effect of a runaway bureaucracy on rural General Aviation will come to the same conclusion.

And while the most direct disadvantage is plain, and keenly felt in the bush, there is a huge loss of GA businesses in the cities. In the Bankstowns and Moorabbins used to be all the specialists thriving in competition. At Moorabbin there used to be at least 4 engine overhaul shops, now none.

As so it goes, prop shops, avionics, component O/H, parts suppliers and general maintenance all far reduced. The losses go further, the refueling services, aeronautical theory courses and university programs all on the wane due to the impossible government controlled environment.

A failed airports policy of no freehold and giving over airport land to unrelated development while forcing up rents is another area of detriment. Add in super expensive $300/2yr valid aviation ID card system for pilots and you start to see the disincentives lined up sufficient to dissuade all but those with unusual imperative.
The Senator is getting the message because the frustration is showing and he has listened, this is a start.
Minister Mc’do’nothing and the toffee coated turd

Mc’do’nothing has delivered the standard government toffee coated turd - lick the top off it and there is just shit underneath. By halting the minor progression that Barn’find Joyce had made Mr Mc’do’nothing has again papered over the Aviation turd in an attempt to continue the game of obsfucation. Just because Joyce put a live round into his P.A and had to step aside does not allow for Mc’do’nothings instant obsfucation of Joyce’s progress. The Minister of any portfolio is just the window dressing. Any work Joyce had progressed has been through the hands of his staff and members of PMC. Just because Joyce received a pineapple does not mean all of his previous work is null and void. That, my friends is a crock of shit!

Mc’do’nothing has poked an already agitated bear right in the anus. The fire has been lit. Fielding an Independant in his electorate will be a joy to behold. In an already toxic LNP environment I am amazed that he, and the Point Piper Ponce would be stupid enough to further enrage and already fed up and pissed off avaition industry.

Ho hum Miniscule for Aviation Obsfucation, if it’s war you want it is war you will get. Tick Tock numbnuts

Bollocks or Brains – Your call.

“Both the Australian Aircraft Owners and ¬Pilots Association and millionaire advocate Dick Smith spoke in favour of industry reform on Friday, challenging Mr McCormack to commit to changes to the Civil Aviation Act, which had been agreed to by former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Labor’s Anthony Albanese.”

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You don’t have to wonder why the industry feels a need to ‘challenge’ a DPM on home turf to drive home a point which has been repeatedly made for three decades, it is self evident. But you may be forgiven for wondering why several CASA Boards and multiple CEO’s have failed to ‘see and understand’ the need to change the Act and sort out CASA. The Board and CEO must be aware of the ‘problems’ created, gods know, there have been enough inquiries, reports, protests, calls and pleadings made for change – it ain’t exactly a new concept.

Both Joyce and Albanese will tell you the same thing, if you ask ‘em politely – aviation is not a vote winner, in fact it is a political pariah. This myth is perpetuated by both mandarins and minions – “the blood will be on your hands – leave to the experts”. Which is a bollocks of the first water. A healthy industry is tax revenue, jobs, security and good for the rural communities; with revenue generating spin offs. Yet the ‘mystique’ of aviation safety holds sway – the politicians will fearlessly go after road, rail, maritime, industry OH&S and shopper safety. They will even champion the cause for land rights for gay whales – if there’s a vote or two in it. I don’t get it – why is aviation a pariah?

“Wagga City Aero Club has backed calls to run an aviation-focused candidate against Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack in the upcoming 2020 federal election.”

Bollocks - Unless you can talk the inestimable Fiona Nash to run for you, McComic will pay no more heed to the challenge than he would a flea bite on his arse.

What about an alternative plan – have everyone who is  ‘aviation’ related or dependent talk to everyone they know about the disgraceful state aviation safety has been allowed to fall into, the horrendous costs to the tax payer, the placebo accident reports, the rorts, the obscene salaries – tell a single mother of two living on the dole about that and see who she votes for; tell the unemployed in the regional and rural areas about the generous allowances and little work associated with aviation oversight; tell the Councils ‘ how a thriving aviation business would help them when it comes  election time, talk to local business owners - tell 'em: one and all - they vote.

Brains - You don’t need a ‘candidate’ – you have a voice, speak up, let the people you know understand just what a mess McCormack is actively supporting and what he is denying the voting population. But most importantly of all – get Dick back on the radio and TV – he tells the story so very well, folks listen to him, he has credibility, respect and is amiable. Best advocate for Australian aviation we have. Watch and listen - as he almost convinces a Senate committee to buy the Harbour Bridge (twice).

Toot - toot....

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