Of Mandarins & Minions.
Bret Walker SC - Whitlam Oration 2018.

Definitely worth the two coffees to read - excellent insight into the problems/issues besetting our political and democratic systems in current day Australia.

Via the Mandarin, this year's Whitlam Oration by Bret Walker SC -  Wink 


  The information that democracy needs
By Bret Walker  14/06/2018

[Image: parliament-with-neighbours.jpg]
LONG READ: Without a decent flow of information in this popular democracy, how can we have anything like our ‘equal share’ in its power, asks Bret Walker SC,  one of Australia’s most eminent lawyers, in the Whitlam Oration 2018.

There are reasons why we are committed to open justice.  They urge the importance in nearly all cases of court hearings being held in public.  They have led to the ample availability of parties’ positions, as well as the eventual published reasons for judicial decision.  Nowadays, not only are submissions in the High Court published on the internet, but counsel face the ordeal of broadcast speech – and vision.  Perhaps, too much information.

Why are these approaches regarded as being in the nature of things for the courts of law, one of the arms of government?  First, for the essential communication of its governing acts.  Second, to justify its decisions by a sufficient statement of reasons.  Third, to render the courts, the judges and lawyers, properly accountable to the people, the public, who are thereby governed.  None of this is, I think, in the slightest degree controversial.  Indeed, current concerns about open justice stem from the widely held suspicion that there are currently too many non-publication orders and closed courts …


How much more obvious, then, is the need to require our elected representatives and especially their executive delegates the Ministry and Cabinet, to allow us sufficient information to check them, test them, and remind them of their representative capacity?  My suggestion is that this is socially and politically as important as the constitutional freedom of political communication.  Like that implication eventually discovered by the High Court (on thoroughly Whitlamesque grounds), this irreducible need for information about government is not to be seen through an individualist prism: it is not a personal right, but rather an imperative of a representative, parliamentary, democracy.


Serious subject-matter, not tribal barracking
But communication needs sensible content, as media magnates know (and so often fail to achieve).  If our use, exercise and enjoyment of a guaranteed freedom of political communication is to mean anything, we must have serious subject-matter, not merely propaganda or tribal barracking.  It is impossible to be fervently in support of a political discourse that never rises above that level – however comforting and entertaining it is from time to time, for sure.


If we must use the term “a national conversation”, at least let it have substance.  Without proper disclosure of critical matters known only to government, how can we – why should we – discuss anything about the topic in question with them?  Blindfolded, we’re led into manholes by those in charge of them …   And if it is a combination of past government conduct and present government intentions that is in question, as is usual, what cynics would gull us by calling the lop-sided exchange a “conversation”?  It is certainly not polite conversation …


One aspect of modern politeness, irksome to some and admittedly not always elegant, is the acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the place where we meet.  Tonight, the Burramattagal clan of the Darug people.  That is real information, if in danger of becoming formulaic.  (It is unpleasant how religious right-wingers deprecate such verbal formulae, given that the Missal and the Book of Common Prayer are themselves composed of liturgical formulae …)


The shifts in Australian society that have produced this change in the formal manners of public gatherings is one in which Gough Whitlam was a giant.  Such shifts do not occur by the actions of people who want to hear only “good news”.  Those were the days when socio-political issues properly occupied the front page (first screen?) of the newspaper or news site.


Democracy would rot, not from the head, but in its popular body, were we all constantly to bask in the self-congratulation of “You’ve never had it so good!”  (Of course, that Tory blessing, when accurate, is only so because when you’re moving up from a low base, such as social equality in the 1950s, the upwards trajectory has a long way to go.)


I am no more enamoured of pessimism than anyone, but the indignant objections to the so-called black armband view of history (or of the present, or of the future) threaten the main project of democratic – certainly, social democratic or Whitlamist – government. That is, improvement.  A project conceived by the benign disbelief that there will ever be nothing to fix, no-one to help, no hope of anything better.   Really, what a gloomy mind is the one who wants no information about social ills or political dilemmas – because he or she is not looking forward to curing or solving any such thing.

It is not an ABC or Guardian sourness that sees problems dominate the news about government. Does anyone really think that those nice chaps in the government – any government – are not only here to help, but are also well and truly on top of it?  Come off it.

There is, rather, a serious and systemic bias threatened by this call for more “good news”.  It implies an unpleasant superiority of the past over the present (so often the golden age of the speaker’s childhood years), and shows a dangerous complacency about the challenges of the future.  It lauds the parents and risks the children.


The project of improvement requires a government intent on reform, such as was so vividly the case when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister.  The merits of proposed reform are rarely equally apparent to everyone at the same time, a state of affairs that would suggest a somewhat creepy passivity if it were ever true.  Why await unanimity, in a democracy?  Explanation and persuasion, two elements of the reform task, crucially depend on the flow of information from government to the people and, at least as importantly, from the people to government.


The economically realist social democracy advanced by the Hawke and Keating governments in retrospect  seems in danger of becoming bipartisan.  It certainly was not greeted thus when those two reformers started to explain and tried to persuade.  Fortunately, they were sufficiently successful to achieve historically significant reform.  I doubt whether things would have gone so well had Bob Hawke and Paul Keating not spent so much time and effort telling anyone who cared to listen why things could not go on as they were.  And their persuasion had the foundation of published information and serious debate.


Correction, contradiction, qualification
The information that democratic reform needs is, as we saw in those years, a body of knowledge and opinion that invites correction, contradiction and qualification.  It becomes the more persuasive the more thoroughly it is tested.  And tests in the privacy of the bureaucracy are never the same as the test of public debate.


It follows that in a decently informed democracy genuine reformers must embrace a real risk of failure in obtaining enough public support.  The alternative approach rewards vociferous naysayers. A supposed reform idea that provoked not much opposition could very likely be not much of a proposal at all: neither seeking real change nor disturbing entrenched self-interest.

"Explanation and persuasion, two elements of the reform task, crucially depend on the flow of information from government to the people and, at least as importantly, from the people to government.”

But there is persuasion, and persuasion.  Our politicians are entitled to use the press and broadcasting to get their messages out, as they put it.  But the great social imperative of a free press, in our society, is not as an agent of government messaging, or even any partisan messaging.  Of course journalists, commentators and proprietors have political attachments and hobby horses, but that unremarkable fact is no excuse not to hold all participants in political contest to account.  A free press tries to do that by asking questions, often by way of challenge.  And here we have been for some time now the victims of pseudo information, misinformation and irrelevant information.


I’m not referring to the human propensity to lie from time to time.  I don’t suggest lies are the information democracy needs, even if so-called spin merchants are the living demonstration that too many people do think that.  No, what has become a clog on the flow of information, more than lies, is the detestable craft of predetermined lines of the day, party lines, and the discipline of remaining “on message”.  I think it’s time that journalists provided a piece of information, and on our behalf, back to political interviewees who think it’s clever, or necessary for their survival in the tribe, to deflect serious questions, parrot non-answers and thrust non-responsive soundbites.  Maybe the journalists should warn those interviewees that the public might be better served by not hearing them on air, until this degenerate discourse is abandoned.


We all know that there are some public figures who refreshingly engage with public questioning, and very often persuasively.  At least, those few avoid the widespread discourteous, condescending and robotic repetition of the juvenile uninformative political interviewee.  We should all inform politicians of that kind that they impede democracy.


Many of us provide information which is then used by politicians, by our answers to public opinion polls and surveys.  Focus groups are the high-end boutique versions of this democratic information flow.  Unless we are careful, the feedback loop of public opinion polls and the conduct of politicians will surrender matters that should be governed through regular informed exercise of universal suffrage and compulsory voting for Parliament, to the reading of entrails conducted by virtually daily sampled snippets of unstudied responses to crafted questions. Push polling is not a mythical monster.
Perhaps we need, continually, much better disclosure and explanation of polling methods, reliability and connexions.


The resemblance between the pseudo democratic opinion polls and commercial advertising is no accident.  “Market research” is a confronting term for the professional gauging of political opinions among the people, but it is grimly apposite.  And we are as yet relatively uninformed and thus innocent of the techniques in play.  Social and constitutional imperatives forbid, I think, any quality control of political communication, to and fro.  But part of our information to government surely ought to be our reaction to slick or negative nonsense, so that those who promote it can at least be told, even if they will not learn, of the disapproval that kind of advertising creates for its sponsors.


Real-time disclosure of donations
The money that political campaigning requires creates its own urgent need for information.  The regulation of donations and disclosure, the provision of public funding and the accounting for expenditure have all attracted legislative attention.  And, I fear, much public disenchantment.  What possible reason can there be to oppose real-time disclosure of donations?  Do I make good this point, or do I rather answer my own rhetorical question, by wondering what may have been the consequence (if anything) of the Prime Minister’s personal generosity to the Liberal Party of Australia being known before the close of polling?


And the electors do not get the information about political donations that they need, if the real people, human beings not corporations, who are responsible for the money donated, are not revealed by real-time disclosures.  Whether by so-called shell companies or our pale imitations of the American PACs, disclosures lacking the names of the people responsible, by which I mean individuals, should be regarded as inadequate.  A proper system to inform us of who is paying the piper would prohibit a party’s or candidate’s enjoyment of the money until that full disclosure has been made.


A practical way of achieving this modest reform would be to forbid any political donations except through the Electoral Commission as intermediary.  The statutory duty of those public servants should be to satisfy themselves that they have been credibly informed of the identity or identities of the individuals responsible for the making of political donations.  No doubt there can and should be an annual threshold for disclosure, which might be set, say, at around current average weekly earnings.

“‘Market research’ is a confronting term for the professional gauging of political opinions among the people, but it is grimly apposite.”

We are used to being told the names of individuals taking responsibility for political statements, especially during campaigns.  The significance of the influence and support that donations to politicians convey, in our democracy, surely justifies being told also the names of individuals taking responsibility for putting their money where a politician’s mouth is.


Donations by corporations and entities like the unions also require more information in order to serve the needs of democracy, than is presently the case.  There is no problem, or should not be, in the names of the authorising officers being published in connection with each and every donation.  But control of these artificial legal persons, which are really aggregations of the interests of individuals forming groups that change in composition almost constantly, justifies a further level of information to enhance the democratic purposes of political donations.


Trading corporation or trade union, it would be beneficial for shareholders or members to know before they buy or join that some of their money will be used for political donations.  Preferably, they should know in advance how much might be devoted during a year for that purpose, and obviously they should also be warned of the identity or identities of the possible recipients of their money by way of political donations.  And if the corporation or union intended to increase the amounts or change the recipients of their members’ money by way of political donations, there should be some corporate democracy, or a union vote, to approve that in advance.


One thing seems clear today.  No-one appears bold enough to argue in public for a return to anonymous unlimited political donations.  The reasons for that minimal consensus ought now be understood to compel extension of our present laws to full and immediate disclosure of the actual identities of donors.  Then we can apply whatever monetary limits an informed democratic electorate, through its representatives, regards as appropriate from time to time.


The influence that money may have on Members of Parliament is by no means limited to political donations.  The Houses now require Members to make continuous disclosure of such matters in the Register of Members’ Interests.  Unfortunately, the standard of information displayed in the various entries you will see in those records is neither consistent nor reassuring.  To be told about connections with a corporation or a so-called trust is barely the beginning of understanding the relevance of the property in question for the political position of the parliamentarian making the supposed disclosure.  And resorting to public registers of corporate information will rarely reveal much more of political relevance, while there are for all practical purposes no such public details available for the innumerable trusts in existence in this country.


So much for the availability of material by which a person rash enough to be concerned with the enforcement of section 44(iv.) and (v.) of the Constitution might be able to discover whether a parliamentarian was entitled to be chosen or continue sitting as one of our democratic representatives.


There are much more substantial reasons why a parliamentarian might not be fit to continue in office than breaches of section 44.  The same is true of other officers of the Commonwealth apart from those bound by section 44 – from the lonely heights of the judiciary to the engine room of the public service.  All three arms of government are for the purposes of democratic government, and accordingly must be accountable to the people.  Some jurisdictions in this country have recognised the inadequacy of the parliamentary chambers with respect to their own members, courts with respect to their own judges and the public service with respect to its own officers, as the means to receive and investigate allegations of misconduct, of which corruption is merely the most urgent example.


Serious question of who guards the guardians
Independent Commissions Against Corruption, and the like by whatever name, provide some answer to the serious question of who guards the guardians.  Do we not need the kind of information that an ordered and impartial fourth arm agency like an ICAC can provide about allegations of official corruption?  Is it not axiomatic that secret and informal dealing with such allegations compounds the democratic failure that results when rumours of corruption are not investigated officially?


However, such agencies are principally investigatory and should both formally and practically report to the Houses of Parliament.  Perhaps, they might be permitted, with safeguards, to brief Directors of Public Prosecutions in the same way as investigating police do. Perhaps, they might be able directly to commit persons against whom they make adverse findings for trial, as if they were a grand jury in olden times or a magistrate today.


A critical safeguard on the kind of information that an ICAC should be able to give us, in cases of unfavourable findings, is that we should no longer be told that an individual has engaged in corrupt conduct, let alone that he or she has been found to have done so because their conduct involved the commission of a criminal offence.  No other officer or agency briefing a prosecutor or committing a charged person for trial thereby informs the community that the person in question is a criminal.  That would be a very serious kind of misinformation, in a society still attached, I think, to the notion of a fair trial before conviction.


It is one thing to conduct investigations in private, as police usually do.  It is another thing to shield senior public servants, by which I mean those who decide matters of serious administration, or the content of advice to Ministers, from basic public knowledge of their activities.  They are not, contrary to the delusions of some, a separate and superior caste.  Many of us work in areas where we expect our names to be known, attached to our deeds.  We expect the reasons for our decisions, or advice, or projects to be published.  Is there really something so special about the public service that things should be so different for them?  Happily, legislated attempts to reverse official secrecy as the general rule has done much to deflate these mandarin pretensions.

“A practical way of achieving this modest reform would be to forbid any political donations except through the Electoral Commission as intermediary.”

But it is worth recalling that affidavits to support claims of secrecy have for a long time oddly warned of the threat to the fearless and frank character of a public servant’s advice were it to be published.  How very odd.  The fearlessness of a person confident that his or her position will be known to very few.  The frankness of a person who can be confident of the limited audience he or she has.


A special kind of advice to the executive government is from its lawyers.  Generally speaking, the courts have accorded legal advice the most solid protected confidentiality, in the form of legal professional privilege.  Unlike most forms of confidentiality, the protection extends to immunity from compulsory production, in the usual case, in court and elsewhere.  Nearly 20 years ago, however, the New South Wales Court of Appeal decided, in a case in which I had a hand, that even that sacrosanct privilege did not protect legal advice to the government from compelled production to a House of Parliament.  It could hardly be said that there has been an avalanche of disclosed government legal advice this century through parliamentary calls for papers, but at least judicial authority in this country is plainly in favour of that salutary power existing.


As I see it, the core principle for the Court of Appeal to deny that legal professional privilege entitled the executive to resist producing its legal advice to a House of Parliament was that the people’s representatives should not be denied knowledge of what the people’s government had been advised.  Accountability in a system of responsible government in a parliamentary democracy was seen as compelling that outcome.  It was an important watershed in the jurisprudence of government secrecy.
It is another milestone in the long march away from personal and absolute monarchy.  We have in this country no Plantagenet king with separate and superior interests from his subjects.  We may be crowned, but we are constitutionally a people’s republic.


What explanation can both honestly and cogently be given for resistance by the executive government to disclosure and publication of its legal advice, except perhaps during the currency of specific litigation?  After all, if the advice supports a government decision, as a lawyer I would like to think disclosure of the advice may assist in political persuasion.   Even more as a lawyer, I insist that knowledge that the government has received respectable legal advice that what it proposes is unlawful should definitely be shared with the public.  A genuine rule of law, in a democracy, cannot be satisfied by anything less.


I think a major qualification would be appropriate.  It is doubtful that democracy requires that the State, represented by the government, should be at a marked disadvantage in litigation compared with the opposing party.  Alfred Deakin’s great Judiciary Act of 1903 decreed equality, not disadvantage, for the polity as litigant.  At least during the pendency of litigation by or against the government, including possible appeals and their consequences, legal professional privilege for advice concerning that litigation is a proper value to observe.  But it should be so limited.


Do we think, though, that parliamentarians are by dint of their office able to deal with government legal advice better than we can?  Are the representatives truly a superior location of political power than the people they represent?  You may gather that I think not.  It follows that the legally established availability of government legal advice to the people’s representatives should entail, without further ado, availability to the people.


This would simplify our current statutes regulating the freedom of information.  It may even temper the bitterness of the gibe that such laws would be better termed “freedom from information”.  Simply, except in cases of identified pending litigation, legal professional privilege should never be available to the government against any one or more of its people.


What are the functional reasons to support any objection?  As a lawyer, I resent the notion that I would give worse advice if I knew it would be published.  Actually, in my experience, knowledge of that possibility puts one on one’s mettle.


Important information about government dealings
There is one area where continued secrecy so as to deny the people (if not the Houses of Parliament) information at the heart of government can be, I think, justified.  It is Cabinet secrecy, at least of what I, like Chief Justice Spigelman, would regard as the true or irreducible kind of information concerning Cabinet deliberations.  There are respectable contrary views, but responsible government on the model that involves Cabinet decision-making does clearly to my mind require that members of Cabinet keep their deliberations secret.


Such information is, of course, not to be confused with the abuses so roundly excoriated by the Fitzgerald Commission – the advisers wielding “Cabinet-in-Confidence” stamps to conceal important information about government dealings.


The contrary views include what I regard as an inspiring piece of judicial eloquence, by Justice Priestley in the Court of Appeal, who denied the legal right to absolute secrecy being given to any group of men and women in government, who insisted that the possibility of accountability can never be kept out of mind, and that the capacity for a House of Parliament to compel disclosure of Cabinet deliberations “can only be to the benefit of the people of a truly representative democracy”.


On the dark side, there has always been a great deal of information about what has happened in Cabinet that a democracy does not need, because we should not have it.  We ought be peremptory in our condemnation of breaches of secrecy by members of Cabinet.   It is contemptible.  It has destroyed, I think beyond redemption,  any confident belief in the honour of our political leaders.


The advent of legislation to compel the production of government information in this country is the most concrete demonstration that democracy needs such information, and will have it.  Unfortunately, the retardant tendencies of supposed wise heads in the bureaucracy have bequeathed us a perverse set of exceptions, which render hollow the legislated encouragement that their existence is not meant to deter disclosure.  As a matter of policy, I wonder whether we have sufficiently precluded the obnoxious reflex to deny disclosure because, in truth, it would be embarrassing to government.


As an 18-year-old when Gough Whitlam was first elected, I am no doubt biased in favour of the view that he and his government gave the initial and greatest impetus to changes that those in later governments – of both complexions – made to the régime controlling access to government information.  It would be wrong for this project to be regarded as party political.  There are, or have been in the relevant past, liberals on both sides.


Thus, the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 and the rest of the “new administrative law”, opened the flood gates on the reasons for administrative decisions.  The common law, displaying the same wisdom that denied the capacity of married women to control property, regarded requests for the reasons for such decisions, even if or especially when they might be judicially reviewed, as a kind of civil impertinence.  Our parliament set an example by decreeing the opposite.  We should not backslide by seeing that reform as the furthest we should go in the quest to understand and challenge the conduct of our government.


My professional career permits me the perspective to suggest that the possibility of compelled disclosure of reasons, in an ordered fashion, under the ADJR Act, has unequivocally enhanced the quality of decision-making in the Commonwealth both as a matter of process and, as a consequence, of substance.


Why ‘commercial-in-confidence’?
A recent boo-word has become fashionable to deflect justified demands for disclosure of government business.  It is the hyphenated phrase “commercial-in-confidence”.  The hyphens don’t make it special. Why should the terms and prices of the always expensive goods and services procured by government, on our behalf and with our money, be secret?  That is, after there has been a tender or contracting process with whatever secrecy that genuine probity requires.  After we have guarded against collusion between tenderers, and like corruption, what other than embarrassment could possibly justify preventing any one of us seeing all the terms on which a new freeway is being bought?

The current slack approach may well be commercial by some lights, but does nothing for democratic confidence.

Another use of public money that is far too frequently cloaked in secrecy is the compromise or settlement of claims against the government.  These involve technical questions of the proper conduct of litigation and expenditure of public funds, none of which justifies the secrecy of which I speak.  


What legitimate ground could there be not to know what the government agrees to pay, say, a person whose land has been compulsorily acquired, or a person who claims to have been unlawfully imprisoned on Nauru?  In all such cases, the legitimate public interest is manifest: there is nothing merely prurient in our curiosity.  The government has no private interests – it is an emanation of us, the governed people.

And a cardinal aspect of justice is consistency of treatment.  Its achievement requires disclosure of prior cases, and its defeat will be promoted by concealment of their outcomes.  Again, the rule of law in a representative democracy not unreasonably prefers that like cases be treated alike, unlike cases in appropriately unlike ways, and that we the people will know enough to spot the difference.


One of the furphies frequently raised to resist such disclosures is privacy.  It is a misunderstood and overwrought value.  It surely yields to the social requirements of democracy.   However, across the board of current practice in relation to government secrets, registered data and even official procedures such as in courts, the privacy of individuals has become the cuckoo in the nest, so far as the information that democracy needs is concerned.  I repeat, there is a linguistic and substantive misfit in too great a concern for the privacy of public servants.


Privacy has been the banner under which we suffer serious unevenness in access to information about the distribution of wealth and thus power in our society.  Long ago, by grace of the Australian innovation of registered title to land, we were all able to know the names of the proprietor of every registered piece of land in the country.  That was, and is, not always very informative, given the sliding doors and trick mirrors of trusts and corporate personalities.  Most of us have no doubt that we the people should be able to know without resorting to private detectives or energetic investigative journalists who it is that really owns the land in our national territory. No-one, I think, would say that we have achieved that state of affairs.


When it comes to the half-way decent operation of the public market in shares and securities, we are now used to requiring continuous disclosure, at least at intervals, of real ownership.  Democratic concerns with what I would call the means of production surely justify at least equivalent disclosure with respect to land and business enterprises.


If one sees the efficient operation of markets as socially useful, itself a matter of democratic concern, one would favour more rather than less information about the location of control of the objects of trade.


Topically, the contribution to our consolidated government revenue by payments of tax on the part of corporations is important.  Votes in parliament, and for parliament, may plausibly be influenced by information on the topic.  Why then do we need to discriminate between companies and businesses as to which of them should have to disclose their relevant revenues and tax contributions?  Would it not be fairer, and we be better informed, if that information was required of all corporations and businesses?  And not anonymised by some industry category that proceeds by misleading averaging, but entity by entity?


What is truly private about the extent of tax contribution by tax-paying entities for the public good?  The profession to which I belong learned painfully that our fitness to participate in the administration of justice, one of the arms of government, makes barristers’ observance of the duty to pay tax, a matter of public interest.  The law is that a legal practitioner’s failure to observe the civic obligations of paying the price of civilisation, that is tax, may render that lawyer unfit to practise.


It would be silly to encourage us lawyers in the delusion that we are really so special.  Are the societies, admittedly few in number, where the tax paid by individuals is a matter of publicly available record, so far off the mark?  The politics of tax, its imposition, its avoidance and its outright evasion are close to the centre of public life in a representative democracy.  At present, none of us can know, except in the case of published criminal convictions, whether any of the participants in those public debates are engaged in revolting hypocrisy.  That would appear to be a deficiency in participatory democracy.


Good and bad news on fiscal front
At the other end of the fiscal pipeline, there is both good news and bad news.  The bad news is not so surprising: the Australian style of drafting annual appropriations and the explanatory papers, by which the socially important Budget is presented, is getting less and less intelligible.  Arcane conventions of drafting and non-legal conventions of esoteric meaning combine to defeat, in my opinion, the intended constitutional statement of democratically approved expenditures.


The good news is an example of what a cross-bench with a balance of power can encourage, namely the Parliamentary Budget Office.  Drawing on the worthy precedent of the disinterested and estimable Parliamentary Library, this impartial group of public servants publishes intelligible estimates of the fiscal nature of various political projects.  Most valuably, there are published proper expositions of the operative assumptions used by the politicians in question.


The fiscal information that our national democracy needs is not so much the 19th century accounting required by the Constitution and more or less adequately supplied.  Rather, it is in a plain explanation and serious justification of the assumptions that drive forward estimates and other projections.  On them depends the political fantasy of soaring surplus or devastating deficit.


There are other kinds of reports to government or about government, such as by Royal Commissions and offices such as the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor.  I hope I do not delude myself, entirely, in seeing them as information that government may find useful.  Seriously, though, an attitude to such information by government that is symptomatic of a deeper malaise can be seen in the untimeliness of such reports being published, or being responded to by the executive.  The nearly invariable practice of delaying the tabling of such reports until the last day permitted is not clever, or consistent with the function of such reports being prepared.  The undergraduate instinct to leave everything till the last moment should have been left behind upon taking up paid duties in Canberra.


There is a functional purpose to provide a period before which a report to government need not be tabled or published – it is to permit a reasoned government response to accompany or follow shortly thereafter.  That occurs in a distinct minority of cases.  Perhaps the Commonwealth should legislate to require a response, although I cannot imagine a meaningful sanction beyond political disapproval.


Governments gather a deal of good information in our modern administration by means of public consultation.  The formal sequence of process requiring public consultation has been, I think, a significant generational improvement in democratic government.  The involvement of those who could be bothered, not only at election time.


Unfortunately, the concomitant need for prior disclosure of proposals and their context, about which the public is supposed to be consulted, is by no means always met.   Often, this can be litigated, but how much better would it be for government to realise that it is in the interests of government to obtain as intelligent and critical a response to its proposals, as widely as possible, before they become fixed policy.


War and foreign relations have long been understood to be areas of government responsibility where open public consultation could well be utterly counterproductive.  So it was realised in 1787, the year before Captain Phillip’s First Fleet, when the Americans whose successful revolution provided part of the impetus to the British settlement of this country, held their secret convention in Philadelphia to devise a constitution for the new United States of America.  One of their more striking themes stressed the vital qualities of “secrecy, vigour & despatch” widely considered to be desirable for the single-person executive head of government.  Strangely to modern eyes, the quasi-aristocratic delegates to this secret convention devised a bicameral legislature in which the Senate, for the first term or so of General Washington’s inaugural presidency, sat in secret without anything like decent records.


The growing appreciation in the new American republic that such behaviour was itself counterproductive to engendering a proper political spirit was part of a movement throughout Western societies that nowadays treats the publicity of legislative and representative scrutiny functions, by elected chambers, as axiomatic.


But there has always been, and in broad terms is likely always to be, a powerful resistance to the disclosure of military affairs and matters of foreign relations.  That commonsense generalisation unfortunately fails to accommodate serious questions as to the limits we should expect on this exceptional category of government justifiably concealing its activities and knowledge from the people.


Not sacrificial activities of our armed forces
International humanitarian law, the laws of war governing its conduct by civilised nations, essentially deny that the way Australians fight for Australia must remain secret from the Australian community.  To the contrary, the Criminal Code positively requires the eventual publicity of trial by jury for alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity.  Care will continue to be necessary to ensure that the balance is struck concerning the publication of sensitive information, so as both to permit prosecutions to proceed and fair trials to be had.  Our current rather complicated and less than comprehensive legislative efforts in this regard are commendable, but only as a beginning.


And then there are activities which are emphatically not the waging of war, such as the use of the navy in deterring unauthorised maritime arrivals of irregular would-be immigrants or genuine asylum seekers.  It is difficult to understand why any more secrecy should attend these police functions, albeit sometimes on the high seas, than routinely attends the manner of civilian policing within our states and territories.


It is unimpressive that such naval policing should be proposed for the kind of grateful celebration which is the mission of our national war memorial, without a prior opportunity for the people to consider on the basis of proper information whether the activities are worthy of that accolade.  I repeat, these are not the sacrificial activities of our armed forces at war.


My experience has strengthened rather than weakened my regard for those areas of government where secrecy, at least temporarily and often for a very long time, well beyond usual political cycles, is functionally essential.  I have already mentioned the conduct of current military operations, and I will turn soon to foreign relations especially with respect to treaties.


But first, there are the topical and likely enduring areas of national security so far as concerns espionage and countering it, and counter-terrorism.  They are areas which, it is true, deserve special monitoring and parliamentary scrutiny, such as by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.  With respect, that is an important body whose value is more potential than realised.  Its powers and influence are yet to be fully appreciated.  I commend the great contribution that John Faulkner has made in pressing for enhanced public benefit in the better use of such guardians.

”Why should the terms and prices of the always expensive goods and services procured by government, on our behalf and with our money, be secret?”


In the zone of silence, so to speak, such as we must expect when terrorism is being detected or prevented, it becomes all the more pressing to devise alternative methods of accountability apart from the constant publicity which serves that function for ordinary government administration of “a free and confident society”.  It is a source of mild national satisfaction that Australian means of checking and reporting on activities many of which must remain secret are demonstrably superior to those of most countries engaged in counter-terrorism, and are arguably not inferior to any.  It would be a source of intolerable national complacency were we to regard these systems as themselves beyond improvement.


The swirl of political concern with so-called foreign influence, literally today, is  just one example of how seriously we should query those who would tell us what the information is that democracy needs.


 Proposed legislation is, as I speak, still on the drawing board.  Appropriate public consultation has resulted in quite an array of detailed objections and improvements being raised.  So much the better.

For my part, I think it may be unwise to concentrate too much on the foreign provenance of supposed influence.  We have quite enough home-grown bad ideas and dinky-di venality to be just as concerned about secret Australian influence as secret foreign influence.  However, of course there is a further reason, bluntly of loyalty and geopolitical conflict of interest, to examine the possibility of providing more information than is currently available about those who seek in the lobbies or anywhere else to affect the positions and conduct of our government, or indeed our Parliament.


But the provision of information to whom?  If only to the executive or the presiding officers of the Houses of Parliament, there would be a further gap in the democratic justification for compelling by law the revelation of what would otherwise be preternaturally confidential dealings.  Whatever else should be debated about legislation proposed to address the problem of “foreign influence”, there should be attention paid to the prompt disclosure of particulars to us, the voters and the public.


How much more straightforward, if alarming to the governing class, would be the routine, literally daily, revelation of ministers’ and members’ appointments, meetings and discussions with anyone apart from their staff and colleagues.  It may be a prospect of infinite tedium as reading matter, but at least an alert cadre of journalists – and political opponents – would have the means to be aware of a kind of information that democracy obviously needs.


In theory, I suppose an elevated form of foreign relations is the diplomatic achievement of a treaty.  This country’s legal and political traditions mean that we live with the nation being externally bound by its treaties, but the population being neither bound by nor benefitting from the consequences of a treaty, unless and until our Parliament makes them Australian statute law.  Under an appropriate head of power, the Commonwealth can legislate in breach of its international obligations.  But there is the external affairs head of power which extends the Commonwealth’s legislative power so long as it is exercised so as to implement our treaty obligations.


Secrecy as a vice in government
It follows that treaties, their making, their terms and their observance by the nations bound by them should be part of the political discourse of this country.  By one of the British as opposed to American choices of those who prepared our constitutional drafts in the 1890s, we have foisted on us what can be, and has occasionally been, the treaty outcomes of secret negotiations.  How far from the democratic ideals brandished in opposition to Chief Justice Jay’s controversial agreement of the 1795 crucial economic treaty with the United Kingdom.  The very secrecy of his actions as a delegate of George Washington was railed against as itself a ground for impeachment.


Worlds apart, perhaps, but the affliction of the Australian population with the consequences of so-called investor-State dispute settlement clauses in contemporary trade treaties provides a double measure of secrecy as a vice in government.  Always, we should be told when the executive is minded to bind the country to these pernicious provisions whereby the lawmaking of our Parliament and the judgements of our courts may be effectively nullified, or worse still punished.  How can this be occurring without more protest?  Why wasn’t Chief Justice French’s speech temperately demolishing the merits of such provisions not more widely appreciated?  Simply, because too few people have been informed about these secretly negotiated provisions for secret arbitrations by foreigners for the foreign reversal of Australian law.  Or, less kindly, because they are just another, if more breathtaking, example of the patronising belief by some persons in Canberra that they not only know better than we do, but that it is better that we do not know enough to question them.


All of these deficiencies justify the kind of schematic rebuilding that remains my admiring impression of the ethos promoted, not always with practical success, by the governments of the man whose life and contribution we recognise this evening.  I am not sure whether Gough Whitlam would approve of my last proposal, given his struggle to achieve enough power and authority both within the Party and in Parliament, at a time when leaks seemed to make buckets out of sieves.


It is that there is no point in fierce attachment to the public obtaining information in order to keep government accountable, unless public-spirited persons best placed to reveal such information for the purposes of holding government to account may do so without penalty.  This country’s so-called whistleblower legislation displays wisps of righteous sentiment, but a niggardly set of protections and a far from comprehensive coverage.  It is in urgent need of modernising.


Immediately after Federation, Professor Harrison Moore saw as the great underlying principle of our Commonwealth that the rights of individuals were sufficiently secured by ensuring, as far as possible, “to each a share, and an equal share, in political power”.  That is not strictly accurate about our federal and bicameral system, and preceded anything like an equal suffrage.  And it is very conservative in relation to entrenched human rights, for example.  But it does convey the true popular core of our democracy.  And without a decent flow of information in this popular democracy, how can we have anything like our “equal share” in its power?


Many years later, but long before taking office on the High Court bench, Stephen Gageler saw in the making of the Australian Constitution a distinct change from the 18th century disdain for popular democracy.  Rather, “ordinary politics was seen as the primary means by which people exerted real, tangible and ongoing control over government”.  Long may that continue.  And so, our demand for the information we need should not abate.


The Whitlam Oration 2018 was delivered by Bret Walker SC on June 5, 2018.


 


Hmm...Bret Walker SC, why does that name ring a bell -  Huh

Ah yes I remember now... Big Grin

Starting from the top of the page here: Nick Xenophon - The surrogate Minister for Aviation??

Quote:Mark this occasion - 17:57 Australian Senate Chamber 18 March 2015 -  perhaps not as momentous but certainly as significant in the history of the stifling suffocation of the GA industry through imperious & odious big "R" overregulation by the CASA. At that time in the Senate Nick had a win when his Disallowance Motion on CASR Part 145 was put to a division - DIVISION:AYES 34 (4 majority) NOES 30 PAIRS 5

As it is quite long the following are quotes from the NX debate speech - for those interested the full speech can be read here
Quote: Wrote:I am moving to disallow these regulations today for several reasons. Primarily, the impact of these regulations is to reduce the safety of Australia's aircraft maintenance regime by transferring the authorisation to certify airworthiness of aircraft from licenced engineers to non-licenced and less-qualified people. The role of licenced aircraft engineers is vital. They have a thorough and sound knowledge of the aircraft as a whole—they know them nose to tail and back to front, and from wing tip to wing tip. And, while the other individuals who may work on specific areas of maintenance are undoubtedly experts in their particular field, I am concerned that they do not have the same comprehensive 'big picture' knowledge as licensed aircraft mechanical engineers. 

This is an important issue about airline safety in this nation. We do not want to see airline safety being diminished. The regulations propose to have non-licensed aircraft engineers to do certain types of maintenance and to have certain powers. It is my view that they should not have the authorisation to sign off on the airworthiness or maintenance undertaken on aircraft. I am concerned that the changes in these regulations may put our aircraft maintenance systems below the minimum global standard. Clearly, this has significant implications not only in terms of safety but in terms of our international reputation, and may even put us at risk of being restricted or banned from international airspace.  

I am also concerned that the impact of these regulations has not been fully understood or clearly communicated by the regulator to the parliament. Further, in an expert legal opinion to the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers' Association, Mr Bret Walker SC, one of the nation's most senior counsel, indicated that the regulation may possibly even go so far as to make it illegal for licensed aircraft engineers to continue to carry out the work they have done for many years without new and costly administration processes being established by maintenance organisations and airlines. If Mr Walker is right, and I believe he is, that is a shocking unintended consequence...
Quote: Wrote:The amendment to the part 145 MOS, which we are debating today, has the effect of significantly reducing safety oversight of Australian aircraft maintenance. That is not just my view and that of licensed aircraft engineers but also, effectively, the very powerful opinion of Bret Walker SC, who has looked at the issue of its legality. The effect of the amendment has been to introduce two fundamental changes. Firstly, they have transferred the internationally recognised authority of a part 66 aircraft maintenance engineering licence holder to certify for the airworthiness of maintenance tasks to non-licensed personnel, who do not meet minimum international requirements. Surely we in this place should all be concerned about that. Secondly, it invalidates the existing guidance material for part 145 that requires an airworthiness determination and certification to be conducted only by a part 66 licence holder following specialist maintenance tasks. 

The standards put forward by ICAO specifically require that personnel who are providing airworthiness certifications and signing maintenance releases meet minimum training and experience requirements. These standards are the global minimum—I emphasise that they are the global minimum—requirements for aircraft maintenance safety. The government's policy for the Australian aviation regulatory reform program is to align with these international standards wherever possible. Where this alignment is not able to be achieved a state difference must be notified to ICAO. It is my view that the changes outlined in these regulations do not align with ICAO and do not meet the minimum safety standards set out by it. Again, I refer to the very considered opinion of Bret Walker SC. 


MTF...P2  Cool
Reply
ALL BEHOLD THE FERTILISER CONVENTION

ICAO held a little gathering in Sydney of like minded spin doctors, bullshit artists, wordsmiths, muppets and pony Pooh peddlers to supposedly discuss some of the mystiques of aviation.;

“Aviation’s focus on constantly evolving security threats, increased use of sustainable alternative fuels, airport privatizations, and sector-wide gender equality were brought to the attention of global airline CEOs today when ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu addressed the 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Sydney, Australia. During her mission, she met with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport”.

More nauseating vomitus horriblus can be read below. However this link comes with a disclaimer and that anyone with an inkling of aviation, safety, or heaven forbid  both of these skills combined will be behooved by the article and will be reaching for a mega sized spew bucket.

I’m not sure why Miniscule McDo’nothing was there, other than to stand around with that blank look on his face and hoover up all the free cucumber sandwiches and cups of green tea.

https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Prio...A-AGM.aspx

Tick tock chunder chunder
Reply
(06-28-2018, 12:35 PM)Gobbledock Wrote: ALL BEHOLD THE FERTILISER CONVENTION

ICAO held a little gathering in Sydney of like minded spin doctors, bullshit artists, wordsmiths, muppets and pony Pooh peddlers to supposedly discuss some of the mystiques of aviation.;

“Aviation’s focus on constantly evolving security threats, increased use of sustainable alternative fuels, airport privatizations, and sector-wide gender equality were brought to the attention of global airline CEOs today when ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu addressed the 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Sydney, Australia. During her mission, she met with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport”.

More nauseating vomitus horriblus can be read below. However this link comes with a disclaimer and that anyone with an inkling of aviation, safety, or heaven forbid  both of these skills combined will be behooved by the article and will be reaching for a mega sized spew bucket.

I’m not sure why Miniscule McDo’nothing was there, other than to stand around with that blank look on his face and hoover up all the free cucumber sandwiches and cups of green tea.

https://www.icao.int/Newsroom/Pages/Prio...A-AGM.aspx




Priorities for security, environment, privatization and gender parity raised as ICAO Secretary General addresses IATA AGM 



[Image: 2018-06-04%20-%20NEWS%20-%20COM.31.18%20...36x300.png]
Aviation’s focus on constantly evolving security threats, increased use of sustainable alternative fuels, airport privatizations, and sector-wide gender equality were brought to the attention of global airline CEOs today when ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu addressed the 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Sydney, Australia. During her mission, she met with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
 
MONTREAL, 6 JUNE 2018 – ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu addressed the 74th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Sydney, Australia yesterday, raising a number of points with the attending airline CEOs on the event’s main topics, which this year include constantly evolving security threats, the increased use of sustainable alternative fuels, airport privatizations, and sector-wide gender equality. 
 
“Against the backdrop of an unpredictable global security environment, and the significant forecast passenger and cargo growth which is top of mind for all of us, our sector will continue to be faced with serious security risks from terrorist groups, radicalized individuals, and other threat sources,” Dr. Liu remarked. “It is ICAO’s view that the highest-priority threats requiring our vigilant focus today are improvised explosive devices (IEDs) carried by passengers, landside security in public airports, cyber-attacks on mission-critical air transport systems, and the potential for malicious deployments of Remotely-Piloted or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (RPAS/UAS).” 
 
On the topic of sustainable alternative aviation fuels, Dr. Liu noted that ICAO has been encouraged that many airlines have committed to increase their adoption and deployment of green fuel alternatives, stressing that “ICAO supports this progress through its Global Framework for Aviation Alternative Fuels, and the platform it provides for related policy, data, best practices and other resources to be shared.” 
 
Shifting her focus to airport privatization, Dr. Liu recalled that a change in ownership structure in no way diminishes a government’s responsibility to fulfil its related ICAO compliance obligations. 
 
“These include safety, security, and efficiency standards, as well as airport and air navigation service charges, and pertains to both facilities which are entirely privately owned, or which are managed under Public Private Partnerships (PPPs),” she commented, “Airlines can greatly assist this process by providing advance planning data on the future types, characteristics and numbers of aircraft expected to be in use, as well as the anticipated growth in flight, passenger and cargo volumes.” 
 
With respect to aviation gender equality, a priority emphasized by ICAO Member States at ICAO’s last Assembly in 2016, Dr. Liu emphasized that while “air transport connects people, cultures and businesses across the globe, and strengthens socio-economic development worldwide, at the same time it has not been very successful at providing an open, inclusive working environment for women.” 
 
“In China for instance there is a proverb which states that women hold up half the sky, but in aviation today, whether we are talking pilots or airline CEOs, women are only making up one twentieth of these positions,” Dr. Liu underscored. She called on the airline CEOs to make gender parity a personal priority, stressing that it must be driven from the top in any organization, and highlighted ICAO’s new Gender Equality Programming and upcoming Summit on the topic jointly hosted with South Africa in Cape Town this August. 
 
During her stay in Sydney, Dr. Liu met with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and Shane Carmody of Australia’s Civil Aviation Authority for discussions on issues of common interest and strengthened partnership between ICAO and Australia.





Tick tock chunder chunder

The timing of this love-in/talkfest corresponds to when a week before Creedy came out with his bollocks fluff piece (reference: On chasing tales and washing spots ) on how we are now in the top six nations for compliance to ICAO SARPs:

Quote:Hmm...I wonder how much that ICAO rubberstamp 'bollocks' cost us? Not to mention the cost to HVH in wining, dining (plus extra curricular activities), while pulling the wool over the eyes of ICAO (wet lettuce) Thor in the course of his wanderings through the Halls of AAI top-cover experts the ATSB [Image: dodgy.gif] : Mount NCN post #106

Got a feeling my next Aunty task will be to systematically pull apart that complete and utter load of BOLLOCKS - [Image: angry.gif]

In the meantime here is a challenge for CC, given our stellar standing in the world of aviation safety administration can we now request that the FAA IASA team come back and doubly reassure the members of the A4ANZ that we are in the stratosphere of Category 1 member States? Come on CC, money where your mouth is mate!!  

Now back to big, bad, Bazza and his COI with RRAT committee matters of an aviation nature... [Image: rolleyes.gif]

Digging around on BO's CV I note that he was listed as the proprietor of a company called - ASIA PACIFIC CLAIMS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD.

Here is the website homepage for that company: http://asiapcmanagement.com/



GD - "..I’m not sure why Miniscule McDo’nothing was there, other than to stand around with that blank look on his face and hoover up all the free cucumber sandwiches and cups of green tea..."

I can answer that one GD, apparently along with ICAO, he was there to schmoo the topend of town Airlines and their international counterparts to reassure everyone that everything is rosy in dodgy Dunceunda land (Warning: bucket will be requiredConfused )

Quote:05JUN2018
Address to the International Air Transport Association
Sydney


..As the Australian domestic and international aviation industry grows, it is our responsibility to make sure that safety remains a key focus.

I acknowledge and welcome the new top six safety ranking given to Australia by the International Civil Aviation Organization as a result of the recent audit of Australia's aviation safety system.

The travelling public can take comfort that Australia has a robust aviation safety system in place, and that our Government and our industry are committed to a strong safety culture...

Hmm...no comment, except - 'BOLLOCKS!'  Dodgy  

MTF...P2  Cool     



Ps Chocfrog to Noodle on twitter who was able to garner this response from Creedy on twitter:
Quote:[Image: 3inwmkepv8hgdll8ka9c_bigger.jpeg] Stephen Creedy@StephenCreedy


Australia aces its ICAO audit with a top six ranking https://bit.ly/2HU35iZ .
[Image: DbxB1bYU0AINqIi.jpg]
3:29 PM - 27 Apr 2018




[Image: ISB0FW4X_bigger.jpg]noodle@fishonoodle

FollowingFollowing @fishonoodle

More

Replying to @StephenCreedy
So the long list ICAO sarp’s Australia doesn’t follow means absolutely nothing.......hmmmmmm.......cash always ticks a box


[Image: 3inwmkepv8hgdll8ka9c_bigger.jpeg] Stephen Creedy@StephenCreedy

Replying to 
@fishonoodle

Interesting point. Seem to recall that's what got us some years back. Better harmonìsation since then?

Not wanting to let that seemingly ignorant statement from SC go unheeded, this was my reply:

Quote:FYI what got 'us some years back' is alive and well a decade later, ref: Chasing tales and washing spots - Part II http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=139&pid=8629#pid8629  + http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=36&pid=8374#pid8374  &

Three decades of Australia taking the piss out of
#ICAO @icao @icaoFangLIU http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=139&pid=8829#pid8829 



&..

&.. RT Three decades of Australia taking the piss out of #ICAO - Part II http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=139&pid=8860#pid8860  + http://www.avmassi.com/about-us/our-team/mike-smith.html  & https://infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/asrr/submissions/files/047_h_ray_22_jan_2014_redacted.pdf  & Dear Lachie - Part II http://www.auntypru.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=139&pid=8873#pid8873  + https://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Estimates/rrat/add1718/addinfo/IRDC/2_DIRDC_ICAO_Letter.pdf?la=en  & @AlboMP @wikileaks http://wikileaks.redfoxcenter.org/cable/2009/11/09CANBERRA1040.html  #avgeek
Reply
STEVE CREEPY’S TOENAILS JUST SPOTTED POKING OUT OF THE MINISCULES FRECKLE

The Governments strategically appointed presstitute, Steve Creepy, has so much Miniscule DNA all over him that he could be mistaken for a lab Petrie dish. Presstitute Steve is just another Government appointed footstool on the Government payroll whose purpose is nothing deeper than spinning stories and painting favourable pictures for what is an inept, deceptive, truth burying Government.
Reply
On recycled minions; & FF deckchair shuffles??  Dodgy

Just had a gander at the miniscule 4G's relatively new aviation adviser:


Quote:Experience

Deputy Prime Minister's Office
Senior Advisor - Aviation
Company Name Deputy Prime Minister's Office
Dates Employed May 2018 – Present  Employment Duration 3 mos
Location Canberra, Australia


Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Senior Aviation Adviser-Office of the CEO
Company Name Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Dates Employed Sep 2017 – May 2018  Employment Duration 8 mos
Location Canberra, Australia

Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Special Aviation Adviser
Company Name Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
Dates Employed Jul 2017 – Sep 2017  Employment Duration 4 mos
Location Canberra, Australia
Western Sydney Airport Division-Airspace and flight path design

Office of the Minister of infrastructure and transport
Senior Advisor-Transport (Aviation)
Company Name Office of the Minister of infrastructure and transport
Dates Employed Mar 2016 – Jul 2017  Employment Duration 1 yr 5 mos
Location Canberra, Australia

Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Manager, Part 61 taskforce, Part 141/142
Company Name Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Dates Employed Oct 2015 – Mar 2016  Employment Duration 6 mos
Location Canberra, Australia
Manager of CASR Part 141/142 review team.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Standards Officer (Large aeroplanes)
Company Name Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Dates Employed Aug 2013 – Oct 2015  Employment Duration 2 yrs 3 mos
Providing policy guidance and regulation development for the CASR operations suite of regulations.

Cathay Pacific Airways
Check & Training Captain B777
Company Name Cathay Pacific Airways
Dates Employed Jun 1998 – Jun 2013  Employment Duration 15 yrs 1 mo
Location Hong Kong
Training and Checking of line pilots. Originally joined as Second Officer on the B747-400.

Hong Kong Airline Pilots Association
Vice President-Professional, Hong Kong Airline Officer Association
Company Name Hong Kong Airline Pilots Association
Dates Employed Sep 2008 – Sep 2012  Employment Duration 4 yrs 1 mo
Director of Rostering, Negotiator, HKALPA technical and safety committee.

Ansett-Kendell Airlines
Pilot
Company Name Ansett-Kendell Airlines
Dates Employed Oct 1995 – May 1998  Employment Duration 2 yrs 8 mos
Location Adelaide and Sydney
Co-pilot Metro 23 in Adelaide. Capt. SAAB 340 in Sydney

Air North
Senior base pilot/ training pilot
Company Name Air North
Dates Employed Dec 1994 – Oct 1995  Employment Duration 11 mos
Location Alice Springs, NT

Air Frontier
Chief Pilot
Company Name Air Frontier
Dates Employed Jun 1994 – Dec 1994  Employment Duration 7 mos
Location Darwin, Australia

Peninsula Aero Club
Chief Flying Instructor/ Chief Pilot
Company Name Peninsula Aero Club
Dates Employed Nov 1992 – Jun 1994  Employment Duration 1 yr 8 mos
Location Tyabb, Victoria

Groupair Flying School
Flying Instructor
Company Name Groupair Flying School
Dates Employed Mar 1991 – Jul 1992  Employment Duration 1 yr 5 mos
Location Casey Airfield, Berwick, VIC


By the look of it the middle name of 4G's adviser should be Steve 'Flip-flop' Campbell... Big Grin 

However it would appear that SFFC does have previous experience of dealing with NFI miniscule's and the aviation IOS... Dodgy      

Hint: 

[Image: r0_0_2071_1270_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg]

"...Senior Advisor-Transport (Aviation)...Company Name Office of the Minister of infrastructure and transport...Dates Employed Mar 2016 – Jul 2017..."  

What is it with the NAT-NUMPTIES and Dept Mandarin's penchant for recycling the same trough feeding bureaucratic dross - FDS!  Dodgy 

PS: This is a worry... Confused 

"..Manager, Part 61 taskforce, Part 141/142.."

While on that phot of the infamous Tamworth rally I note the seemingly absorbed Fort Fumble Chair Jeff Boyd would appear to have disappeared from the ranks of the irrelevant FF Board... Huh 


Quote:CASA Board
Board role

The CASA Board is appointed by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
The Board is responsible for deciding the objectives, strategies and policies to be followed by CASA and for ensuring that CASA performs its functions in a proper, efficient and effective manner.

Board members

[Image: casa-board-member-mark-rindfleish.jpg]
Mr Mark Rindfleish
First appointed: 16 April 2018
[img=0x0]https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/casa-board-member-mark-rindfleish.jpg[/img]
Mr Mark Rindfleish has over forty-five years as an Airline pilot and senior Operations Manager with airlines in Australia and overseas.
Mr Rindfleish has held the positions of Director of Flight Operations for Ansett Australia, Vice President of Flight Operations Air New Zealand, Executive General Manager Operations Ansett, General Manager Safety Jetstar Airways and Head of Flying Operations and Chief Pilot of Jetstar Australia and New Zealand.
In addition, Mr Rindfleish has served in a number of advisory roles including Safety Advisor to the Boards of the various Jetstar Airlines, Chairman of the Flight Operations Committee Association of Asia Pacific Airlines and Chairman of the Star Alliance Flight Operations Committee.
Throughout his career, Mr Rindfleish has maintained a keen interest in sport and general aviation and regularly flies light aircraft.
Mr Rindfleish is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Master Air Pilot and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

[Image: anita_taylor.png]
Ms Anita Taylor
First appointed: 3 December 2014
[img=0x0]https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/anita_taylor.png[/img]
Ms Anita Taylor is a chartered accountant with mediation, psychology and governance qualifications. She has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting). Ms Taylor is also a glider pilot.
Ms Taylor is Chair of the CASA Board Audit Committee. She is also the appointed independent director for Australian Canoeing and Executive Chair of Red Eight Produce. She is an experienced company director, having previously served as Chair of the University of New England controlled entities UNE Life and Sport UNE; as a member of Regional Development Australia – Northern Inland Committee (RDANI) and the RDANI Finance and Audit Committee; as Executive President of the Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) and Chair of the GFA Sports Committee; and as a member of the Air Sports Australia Confederation (FAI) Committee. She has also served on committees of other community and sporting organisations, including public and listed companies.
Ms Taylor and her husband run a superfine merino and angus cattle property in regional New South Wales.

[Image: philippa_stone.png]
Ms Philippa Stone
First appointed: 1 October 2015
[img=0x0]https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/philippa_stone.png[/img]
Ms Philippa Stone has honours degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney. She is a partner of Herbert Smith Freehills which she joined in 1984. At Herbert Smith Freehills Philippa is the Joint Global Head of the firm's Capital Markets group where she specialises in equity raisings and mergers and acquisitions.
Ms Stone has been a guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales on corporate control transactions and at Sydney University on capital markets transactions. She is on the Law Council of Australia's Corporations Law Committee and is a member of the Australian Securities Exchange's Listing Appeals Tribunal. Philippa was a member of the Commonwealth Government's Business Regulation Advisory Group ("BRAG") on the CLERP 9 reforms and other Corporations Law simplification changes.
Ms Stone has been a member of the International Air Services Commission, and prior to that a non-executive director of Airservices Australia.

[Image: cheryl_cartwright_low.png]
Ms Cheryl Cartwright
First appointed: 17 April 2017
[img=0x0]https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/cheryl_cartwright_low.png[/img]
Cheryl Cartwright has more than three decades' experience in media, politics and industry associations including senior management roles and has a strong focus on strategy and governance, including with not-for-profit boards. Her media experience covers print, radio and television. She has been a political and media adviser in Opposition and in Government and has been Chief of Staff to a senior Cabinet Minister. From 2005 to 2017 she was Chief Executive of the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association(APGA), working closely with the APGA board to redefine and energise the association, dramatically increasing its size and influence and raising its profile. She brings to the board comprehensive experience in communications, messaging, strategic planning and corporate governance.

[Image: jane_mcaloon.png]

Ms Jane McAloon
First appointed: 2 January 2018
[img=0x0]https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/jane_mcaloon.png[/img]
Jane is a Non-executive Director of Healthscope, Energy Australia and Cogstate Limited and is a Senior Adviser with Gresham. She is National Chair, Defence Reserves Support Council and a Director with Bravery Trust.
Jane has been in the natural resources, energy, infrastructure and utility industries for over 25 years. Jane was an executive at BHP Billiton for 9 years during which she worked on key strategic issues, corporate transactions, as well as market, regulatory and reputational matters. Prior to this she was an executive at AGL. Jane spent 10 years in leadership roles with the NSW Government Cabinet Office, Energy, Rail and Land/Water Departments.
Jane has been a safety regulator in the energy sector and always worked with safety management systems as a fundamental principle in successful business.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from Monash University and a Grad Dip in Corporate Governance. She is a Fellow of the AICD and the GIA.

[Image: shane_carmody.jpg]

Mr Shane Carmody - The Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety
First appointed: 7 June 2017
[img=0x0]https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net351/f/shane_carmody.jpg[/img]
Mr Shane Carmody commenced as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety on 7 June 2017.
Mr Carmody's most recent appointment was as Deputy Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. In this position his responsibilities included the Office of Transport Security, Aviation and Airports, Local Government and Territories and the Western Sydney Airport project.
Mr Carmody has extensive experience at senior levels in the Australian Public Service. His roles have included Deputy Secretary/Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Veterans' Affairs, Deputy Secretary Intelligence and Security and Deputy Secretary Strategy in the Department of Defence, Deputy CEO of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Deputy President of the Repatriation Commission. He has significant policy, regulatory and business management experience.
Mr Carmody joined the Australian Public Service in 1989 after a 15 year career as an Army Officer, where he served in various Australian and overseas locations.

CASA Board contact
CASA Board Secretariat
colin.mclachlan@casa.gov.au
PO Box 2005
Canberra ACT 2601


Last modified: 4 July 2018
  
Not that it is really very relevant but who is the current Chair of the FF Board?  Rolleyes


MTF...P2  Cool
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Bureaucratic bungles cost taxpayers millions each year in secret compensation payments

This topic isn’t really something unusual to most of us as we all know that Governments and their departments are inept and incompetent. At least in regards to the cases involving the people in the attached article, they got some compensation. This is not common in the case of the Iron Ring run CAsA. Compensation is almost unheard of at any level, and goodness me there have been hundreds of legitimate cases where CAsA should’ve coughed up the moolah.....

Small article today from the GayBC;

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-22...n/10015040
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This miniscule McCormack thing, masquerading as ‘Minister’ has left the building with his flies undone. Or, has got his boxers on ass about. Does anyone remember old mate Darren – he of the 7G’s who managed to so completely bugger himself up – aviation wise – that half the operating politicians dismissed him as irrelevant?

Well, my little light has just come on – 7G’s main advisor, a man with a foot in every camp, a hunter with the hounds and a runner with the Hares; a man who believes that through his ‘bureaucratic’ connections he will be elected through the Victorian Nats; every body's best mate is now dear ol’ Mike 4G’s main aviation man - (true). Considering how Darren 7D was totally buggered by the Campbell ‘in-put’ you have to wonder why McCormack has chosen the same vehicle to nonentity as his mate Dazza.

Thing that really bothers me – is just how dumb is the DPM? If Turnbull falls off the cat – house trapeze, then Mike 4G will actually be in charge – terrifying concept. A man with an IQ the same size as his jock strap being ‘advised’ by Darren’s very own, both ends against the middle man. Maybe when he’s standing in the dole queue, wondering WTD happened; his little light bulb will illuminate the pathway to sheer folly.

“Yes Toots – set ‘em up again; I have a wonder of purblind stupidity to ponder”.

[Image: Untitled%2B2.jpg]
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Tommy;

Thing that really bothers me – is just how dumb is the DPM?

Umm, yep, he sure is. The DPM makes a peeled potato look intelligent. I believe, as with most Nationals, too much sun exposure has fried most of his Neurons (take for example Katter, Truss, Joyce, Bjelke-Peterson) Add to that the fact that having his face pressed against PM Goldman Sachs Turdballs puckered sphincter for hours on end and breathing in those ‘arse vapours’ hasn’t helped his intelligence one iota. A few more brain cells have been killed off due to him holding his breath for hours on end while bobbing for taxpayer apples in the deep taxpayer trough!

Tom, hopefully this helps to explain his stupidity as well as the fact that he always has that blank, drugged out Hippie look on his sterile comatose face. Watching McDo’nothing work is like watching a shopfront mannequin for 14 hours straight. Watching water evaporate is an invigorating past time compared to watching McDo’nothing in action.Hell, watching two tortoises have a root or being dead six foot under is more exciting, and value adding, than anything emanating from McDo’nothings bland, impotent, immobile carcass.....

Hugs and kisses, GD
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TICK..TOCK goes 4G's aviation doomsday clock -  Rolleyes

From around the traps.. Confused

First from the ABC yesterday:

Quote:Global pilot shortage hits Australia, with cancelled regional routes just the beginning
By Briana Shepherd
Updated yesterday at 6:28pm
[Image: 10013372-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: With demand for pilots increasing, Qantas wants another 350 by the end of the year. (ABC News: Andrew George)

RELATED STORY: Criticism prompts Regional Express to reduce services to South Australian city

Passengers are becoming used to flights being cancelled due to weather, or even volcanoes, but now a new trend is beginning to upset travel plans across the country.

Key points:
  • A shortage of 640,000 pilots is expected in the next 20 years
  • Qantas, Virgin accused of poaching talent from regional airlines
  • Flights in rural areas are being cancelled, and metropolitan flights could be next

Airlines are having to cancel flights, and even entire routes, because there literally isn't anyone available to fly the plane.

A total of 10,808 domestic flights were cancelled last year, according to the latest annual report from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics — at a rate of 1.9 per cent, up from the long-term average of 1.4 per cent.

While it is hard to determine exactly how many of these cancellations were caused by a pilot shortage, analysts say the situation is set to worsen in one of the world's fastest growing industries.

The most recent statistics from Boeing predict over the next two decades that 640,000 new pilots will be needed to sustain the industry, with almost 40 per cent of those required in the Asia Pacific region.

[Image: 10015008-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Many pilots are facing stiff competition for their services as airlines look to ramp up flights. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)


In recent years, a growing trend has emerged of Australian pilots taking off for lucrative deals with overseas airlines, particularly in the Middle East and China.
It is a complex situation with nobody in the industry able to agree on how best to move forward, or even determine what exactly has caused the pilot drought.

Customers to suffer in 'perfect storm'

At this stage, it is mostly regional carriers and smaller charter services being hit — but the impact is being felt across the community.

Just this weekend, the Carnarvon races in WA's north were cancelled when it was announced staff and jockeys could not get a pilot to charter them to the event.

It is a similar story in the Northern Territory where ChartAir, a charter carrier that provides crucial services to remote areas, has had to permanently ground one of its planes.

[Image: 10015350-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: ChartAir in the Northern Territory has been unable to retain its pilots. (ABC News: Thea Halpin)


ChartAir CEO Douglas Hendry said the company was turning away at least a million dollars in business each year.

"Traditionally you had pilots joining us for three to four years. It was like an apprenticeship," he said.

"[But] we've seen junior pilots, who don't really meet any of the minimum requirements that the airlines used to have, are now leaving us much sooner."

Mr Hendry said the global demand of major airlines was driving the shortage, but in the end it was the smaller players in the industry — and ultimately customers — who were suffering.

"The Chinese carriers are looking to recruit hundreds of thousands of pilots over the next 15 to 20 years," he said.

[Image: 9503656-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: The introduction of new craft like the Qantas Dreamliner has put further pressure on pilot numbers. (Supplied: Qantas)


Pilot shortage impacting flying schools

For David Currey, who heads the Aero Club of WA training academy, the shortage means fewer pilot teachers.

"You must appreciate with pilot shortage it starts from the big boys — the Qantas, Virgins — they start recruiting from the regionals, such as Skippers Alliance Network, and they then come and they recruit from the flying schools," he said.

Quote:
"So there's a shortage of pilots, now there's a rapidly growing shortage of instructors.
[Image: 10017640-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Aero Club of WA training academy chief David Currey is struggling to find pilot teachers. (ABC News: Briana Shepherd)


It is a great deal of change in an already dynamic industry.
The Aero Club runs out of Jandakot Airport, a general aviation hub in metropolitan Perth.

Now, China Southern Airlines has a pilot academy due to reopen at the airfield while a Singapore-owned pilot school has also applied to operate in the space.
"I believe that within the next year there'll be a minimum of 70 extra instructor jobs being created at Jandakot Airport," Mr Currey said.

"[It's] a demand that will be difficult to fill."

Qantas, Virgin accused of 'rapacious plundering'

Earlier this month Regional Airlines — also known as Rex — issued a statement to its customers warning of potential cancellations due to a "critical pilot shortage".

"Rex is not able to have its usual contingent of stand-by pilots rostered for duty," chief operating officer Neville Howell said.

"Consequently any last-minute sick leave may result in flights being cancelled or combined with other routes."

Ten years ago Rex began its own training school, the Australian Airline Pilot Academy, in an effort to increase its own pilot numbers.

But Mr Howell said it was not enough to "stave off Qantas and Virgin Australia's rapacious plundering of Rex's pilot pool".

[Image: 733362-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Rex Airlines says its pilot stocks have been ravaged by Qantas and Virgin. (Supplied: Rex)


"In the past two years, these two airlines collectively have poached 17 per cent and 56 per cent of Rex's first officer and captain establishment respectively," he said in the statement.

Quote:
"These two airlines are causing widespread chaos and disruptions to regional air travel by their selfish and irresponsible actions."

A Qantas spokesperson responded, stating that it was "natural to see some movement between airlines from people seeking advancement, just like in every other industry".

"No Australian airline invests more in training pilots than the Qantas Group, and we've been doing that for almost 100 years," they said.

Qantas steps up pilot recruitment

The Qantas Group, which includes Qantas and Qantas Link, is in the midst of the biggest training and recruitment drive in the company's history.

From about 2009, the main airline initiated a pilot hiring freeze — and it went on to last seven years.

But the Qantas Group has hired over 600 new pilots from Australia since 2016, with plans to recruit an additional 350 by the end of the year.

[Image: 10015422-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Qantas is set to start its own pilot training academy as its fleet expands. (ABC News: Andrew George)


The airline currently sources its pilots from a mix of flight schools, general aviation, the military and other commercial airlines.

Qantas has also been working with the Federal Government to bring in a limited amount of foreign pilots and simulator instructors on extended skilled worker visas.

The move has angered many who believe Qantas, as an industry leader, should be investing in Australian pilots instead.

But the airline in response has pointed to a $20 million commitment towards opening its own pilot training academy by 2019.

The Qantas Group Pilot Academy was announced earlier this year and, of the more than 60 regional cities that put forward proposals, nine made the first cut.

The shortlist includes:
  • Busselton, WA

  • Alice Springs, NT

  • Dubbo, NSW

  • Tamworth, NSW

  • Wagga Wagga, NSW

  • Mackay, QLD

  • Toowoomba, QLD

  • Bendigo, VIC

  • Launceston, TAS

Qantas will announce the winning location for the school within the next month or so, once it has visited each city.

Competition stiff for training academy

Busselton deputy mayor David McCallum said securing the academy would be a great result for the entire South West region of WA.

[Image: 10017474-3x4-340x453.jpg]

PHOTO: Busselton Airport has recently undergone a $40 million runway upgrade. (Supplied: City of Busselton)


"Essentially it would become like a small, specialised university with benefits to suppliers, tourism and in having an anchor tenant for the Busselton-Margaret River Airport," he said.

Quote:
"It would be a game-changer for the area."

Mr McCallum said Qantas had very specific requirements, but he was confident the city met 99.9 per cent of them.

"The only thing we don't have is a control tower, but the rest of the criteria we've pretty much met," he said.

"Certainly 300 flyable days, we have a less congested airspace … when you compare [us with] the eastern states airports.

"We've got a brand new $30 million runway … we've got a space set aside for general aviation, we've got services in that — telecommunications, water, power, sewer — all of that's ready to go. So what the Qantas Group will be inheriting here is a Greenfield site."

But competition for the academy is stiff — all of the nine shortlisted towns see it having huge potential for growing the area.

In its first year of operation, Qantas wants to put 100 new recruits through the academy before eventually working up to 500 students annually.

And with women making up just 3 per cent of the global pilot workforce, the airline has made addressing the gender imbalance a priority.

More female pilots a priority

Qantas second officer Arika Maloney, who has been with the airline for eight years, said she could already see things starting to change.

[Image: 10013378-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: Arika Maloney says female pilots are starting to challenge the male stereotype. (ABC News: Andrew George)


"It's still male-dominated simply because, I guess, it's a stereotype that's not quite been broken as yet," the 33-year-old from Adelaide said.

Quote:
"There's certainly no reason why a female can't become a pilot.

"I think there has been a definite shift and we're definitely seeing some more women within the Qantas Group and more females looking at aviation as a potential career."

WA Aero Club instructor Layla Harrison agreed there was no reason why women could not enter the profession.

"I think the problem is girls don't realise that they can go down that pathway, they look at aviation and they think cabin crew, ground crew," she said.

Ms Harrison had never even been in a plane until she was offered a scholarship to study aviation out of high school.

[Image: 10014998-3x2-700x467.jpg]

PHOTO: With demand high, pilot instructor Layla Harrison has not ruled out flying commercially. (ABC News: Hugh Sando)


Despite having been offered a place at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, she took the scholarship and has never looked back.

"I gave it a go, fell in love with it and here I am," she said.

The 23-year-old said she got a lot of joy out of teaching and, for now, was happy to remain an instructor — but she had not ruled out flying commercially in the future.

"I'd like to see many different avenues of aviation," she said.

Quote:
"It's about enjoying flying, being in an aeroplane, really experiencing the magic and passion of aviation.

"I'd love to see what else is out there, what else I can do with it."

And from former DPM and National's leader Barnaby's neck of the woods... Wink

Last week from the Northern Daily Leader, the Armidale airport 'proposed landing fee' bunfight heats up:

Quote:JULY 19 2018 - 4:42PM

Landing fee: Rex Airlines concerned about Armidale airport fees

Local News




[Image: r0_0_1200_675_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg]
 TAKE OFF: Rex Airlines spokeswoman said it has concerns about proposed fee increases at Armidale Regional Airport.


MAJOR regional airline Rex has said it will consider pulling services from Armidale Regional Airport if fees are increased.
“Rex opposes any increases in airport fees and charges that are above CPI as this would be against the spirit of the agreement that was responsible for Rex establishing the Armidale service in the first place,” a spokeswoman said.

“As such, any increase in airport charges, including security charges that are not required by Rex, will certainly weigh on Rex’s decision to continue to service Armidale, particularly in light of the current industry wide pilot shortage.”

Armidale Regional Council has proposed to introduce landing fees that would cost operators $460 a year for each aircraft after the first five, which would be exempt.

Read also:

Rex began services between Armidale and Sydney in 2015; before that, Qantas’ regional airline service QantasLink was the sole operator.


A spokeswoman for council said it had individual commercial-in-confidence arrangements with QantasLink, Rex and FlyCorporate.


“Like all airports, these arrangements include terminal counters, signage, check-in facilities, offices, luggage management facilities, equipment storage, apron allocations and a contribution to airport operational costs,” she said.


Rex and former Armidale Dumaresq Council entered into a five-year agreement with the airline that expires in June next year.


The decision to come to Armidale was the result of a successful bid by council when Rex put the call out for regional communities that wanted a competitive Sydney service.


“Without which [the agreement] Rex would not have proceeded due to the significant commercial risk,” the spokeswoman said.


A number of smaller airline operators at the airport have also threatened to leave if landing fees are introduced.


Council deferred the decision in the June meeting after strong debate from a number of councillors.

A QantasLink spokesman said they wouldn’t comment until after the July decision.
Also from the NDL some commonsense from Armidale ratepayers... Wink:
Quote:JULY 20 2018 - 3:22PM
Landing fees: Armidale ratepayers' Rob Taber say they don't support airport proposal

[Image: r0_173_3000_1866_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg] UNIMPRESSED: Armidale Ratepayers' Association president Rob Taber is not behind new fees at the airport. Photo: Barry Smith

RATEPAYERS have rejected the notion that Armidale Regional Council is introducing landing fees at the airport in their name.

Council told The Leader the expected $40,000 in revenue, less than 10 per cent of what ratepayers subsidise, is a step towards a “fairer, user pays system to lessen the financial burden being placed on ratepayers”.

Armidale Ratepayers Association president Rob Taber said it’s a major issue if the fees drive business out of town.

“If we want facilities we have to be prepared to pay for it, it is a cost on ratepayers but that’s reasonably acceptable provided it doesn’t get out of hand,” he said.

“I believe it comes back to lack of finances and the answer is not putting the rates up, we’re rated out of existence now but it’s about being clever and finding a better way through these things.

“It’s definitely not worth it, we can’t afford to lose any businesses, we struggle to get any businesses here at the moment and it’s a disaster for the city.”

The proposed fees would cost operators $460 annually for each aircraft after the first five, that council offers exemptions to.

A number of aviation operators, including Fleet Helicopters, have threatened to take their business elsewhere if the fees are imposed.

Mr Taber applauded council on the industrial land development at the airport, and said it should focus on long term revenue raised by business rates.

Ratepayers fork out $500,000 to subsidise the airport every year, and now, local business Morelly has launched a petition to defer council’s vote on the landing fees.

Managing directors Sam Kelly and Duncan Moran started their business in Armidale two years ago because of the access to major cities through the airport.

“Our concern with the airport issue at the moment is the knock on impacts if vendors leave the airport, we see this having the potential to go back to the QantasLink monopoly which makes it unpalatable for us to stay here,” Mr Kelly said.

The pair want to take the petition to the July council meeting.

The Leader contacted ARC for comment but it did not respond.
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Rob Taber;

“Council told The Leader the expected $40,000 in revenue, less than 10 per cent of what ratepayers subsidise, is a step towards a “fairer, user pays system to lessen the financial burden being placed on ratepayers”.

Well Rob, we must congratulate you for calling out Council for the chickenshit hack outfit that it is. Please accept your free membership to the IOS and here are the keys to the Tim Tam cupboard at the Town Hall.

By way of suggestion, perhaps if Council removed all of those bloated and  excessive meetings and the need for triplicate reports and also cut executive salaries and numbers, removed all the perks including ‘conferences, study trips and field trips’ and produced actual results rather than hot air and pony Pooh there would be no need to increase REX fees and charges for the next century?Just Sayin.....

“Councils, making stupidity and incompetence great again”!
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McDo’nothing and his ilk

If you really want to know why our industry is rooted, look no further than the accountable governments and their Ministers. They are not interested in us, not now and not ever. The recent and continual bad behaviour, rorts and activities like those committed by Barn Yard Joyce, Craig Thompson, Bronwyn Bishop and a legacy of other trough dwellers before, after and in between is the problem. The latest parasite, Emma Husar had these things to say;

"I don't vote to get the best party in because there is no such thing. I just vote to keep the worst ones out”.

And;

"politicians, I want to be one, you can lie, steal, cheat and use other people's money to go on holidays – the best job in the world".

What else can you add to that? Grubs who look after themselves while destroying everyone and everything else around them.

Viva Le Revolution
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Is the worm turning in Mandarin central?

Are the Can'tberra Mandarins finally working out that unnecessary bureaucratic red tape is slowly but surely strangling industry and ultimately the well being of the Australian economy?

Via the Mandarin... Wink 


Quote:Agency heads allowing regulations to wilt ‘until failure’, warn Treasury insiders
By Verona Burgess  20/08/2018


[Image: 1024px-Australian_Treasury.jpg]


Two senior Treasury officers have tackled the hot-button $65-billion annual impost of regulation in a personal submission to the review of the Australian Public Service, saying department heads should be legally required to clean up their stocks of red tape.

Writing in their own names, the head of the corporate and international tax division, David McCullough, and a chief adviser in the Law Design Office, Tom Reid, say Australia should adopt the New Zealand government’s model of regulatory reform.

Under this model, secretaries and agency chief executives are required by statute to exercise “regulatory stewardship” of their portfolio responsibilities.

If adopted in Australia, this would lay the foundations for a continuous improvement model of imposing and reforming regulation.

In their covering letter, the pair point to the APS’s role in designing, maintaining and administering regulatory frameworks. Many, they said, had been built over considerable time and represented major investments of public resources and important, albeit intangible, public assets.

“Day-to-day pressures often meant that all available resources were devoted to immediate priorities, until a crisis triggered a major review.”

Prime examples of high-value regulatory infrastructure were the bodies of rules supporting the financial system, tax collection, competition, consumer protection and corporate law.

“It stands to reason that, having invested heavily in establishing these important assets, the nation should insist that they are properly serviced and maintained, so as to stay in good running order.”
However, day-to-day pressures often meant that all available resources were devoted to immediate priorities, until a crisis triggered a major review.

“This approach of ‘running until failure’ is costly and wasteful.”

A better approach would be to ensure departments and agencies invested appropriately to keep their stock of regulatory assets functioning well, while pursuing the current minister’s policy agenda.

“In an environment of constrained resources this aspiration presents a challenge of leadership and will.”

Adopting a model similar to that in New Zealand would help shore up the commitment of agency heads, who may be tempted to focus purely on short term deliverables.

Aggregate cost of red tape ‘a staggering number’

In their submission, the pair say that in the past it has been convenient for advocates of regulatory proposals to downplay their additional burden by either pointing to the overwhelming net benefit or dismissing the additional cost as “second order”.

However, in recent years, studies had shown the aggregate cost of complying with regulation was significant.

“In 2013 the stock of Commonwealth regulation was calculated to impose compliance costs of around $65 billion per year on the Australian economy. This calculation was based on estimates and survey data, and is not a true market calculation (in the sense that it includes costs of private citizens not typically included in GDP calculations), but it is nevertheless a staggering number.”

The Treasury portfolio had by far the largest set of regulatory responsibilities, imposing on the community an estimated annual compliance cost of around $47 billion through tax, financial system, corporations, competition and consumer laws and regulations.

Of this figure, tax compliance was by far the largest component, comprising around $40 billion.

“The Treasury is responsible for over 51,000 pieces of regulation: an enormous body of regulatory material when one considers the … Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 is counted in this figure as merely one regulation, and it alone comprises many thousands of pages.”

Most major sub-elements of that act were tremendously complicated.

“There are, for example, over 800 pages of tax law solely devoted to the seemingly straightforward matter of taxing, or relieving from tax, gains arising from the sale of assets.”

Despite the red tape reductions of the past few years, the community and business still saw the accumulation of regulatory burden as a major pain point.

While even the best designed system would impose some cost, the sheer size of the current compliance cost burden suggests it was very far from best practice.

“If it were possible to reduce the present impost by even 10% — a reduction of around $6-7 billion per annum — the benefit to business and the community would be as large as those hoped for from many of the ambitious economic reforms pursued in recent decades.”

Don’t give a free pass to existing regulation

The pair say that while Australia’s system of vetting new regulation compares favourably with international best practice, the focus on new rather than existing regulations missed half the problem.

“Most of the attention in the history of regulatory reform in Australia has been on managing the flow of new regulations, but very little on ensuring the quality and efficacy of the stock of existing regulations. To use an old analogy, reducing the flow of pollutants coming into the lake from a tainted river without also taking action to clean the lake itself means the water stays dirty for a very long time.”

“To get a sense of the relative importance of the flow and the stock of regulatory burden: the absolute value of the reported flow (increases and decreases added together) of new regulation in the 18 months between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2017 was $1.1 billion. This compares with the annualised cost of the stock being around $65 billion.”

The pair say poorly functioning regulatory frameworks impose unnecessary costs that reduce productivity.

“These costs inevitably flow through to the community more widely, even when their initial impact is on a single business. Unnecessary costs reduce the national income and detract from the viability of domestic businesses, especially when they are exposed to overseas competition. Well-functioning regulatory frameworks provide markets with the catalyst to flourish and businesses with the confidence to invest.”


Hmm...Dr A and the Iron Ring must have missed the memo -  Huh  

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Good men and true.

Nice to know we do have some. I wonder if our CASA first XI are too lost in their own mystical world of smoke, mirrors; or, just too arrogant to bother reading a fine publication, like the Mandarin, believing that they are above the world of mere mortal concerns. They should; two fine, intelligent men, the likes of Messrs McCullough and Reid who have dared to look in the mirror, spotted the errors and taken the time to set down the case in clear terms, are worth not only reading, but heeding. In an aviation context their comments fit so perfectly , that with a few changes, the words could easily form the basis of a ministerial directive to the CASA board and the Director. Particularly if it was framed in a ‘Do it Now - Or else’ manner.

Bravo McCullough and Reid, well said Sirs.

"Writing in their own names, the head of the corporate and international tax division, David McCullough, and a chief adviser in the Law Design Office, Tom Reid, say Australia should adopt the New Zealand government’s model of regulatory reform."

“If it were possible to reduce the present impost by even 10% — a reduction of around $6-7 billion per annum — the benefit to business and the community would be as large as those hoped for from many of the ambitious economic reforms pursued in recent decades.”

“These costs inevitably flow through to the community more widely, even when their initial impact is on a single business. Unnecessary costs reduce the national income and detract from the viability of domestic businesses, especially when they are exposed to overseas competition. Well-functioning regulatory frameworks provide markets with the catalyst to flourish and businesses with the confidence to invest.”

Thank you to the Mandarin for publishing another great article. Now we just need to wait and see if it has any impact.

Toot - toot.
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“K” – “Nice to know we do have some” – good men and true, that is. The Mandarin article brings to the front one of the great ‘worries’ of many people I know, not just in aviation. What they (the writers) are proposing makes such excellent sense, I’m surprised that the OPM has not jumped onto it – as a huge potential vote winner; reducing red tape, pruning budgets and reducing the burden of paying for not only new law, but the support of the bureaucracy needed to manage it all. Aviation is a ‘classic’, I won’t bang on about the cost of compliance or the money needed to keep the ‘reform’ of regulation process rolling. Although I will mention the fuel levy, which was to be taken off years ago; the additional cost burden is punative, particularly as many aerodromes now are without fuel facilities. These airports are now owned by councils who are wondering how to support the ever increasing cost of the thing. Fuel available would be a fine thing, can’t use Piddlemere, what about we stop in at Kickinatinalong; they’ve got fuel. Premium price of course, fair enough, but when you add the ‘levy’ (in whatever form it takes) the costs stack up toward prohibitive.

In days gone by, it was always said that fuel was cheaper than engines – so it is, but the gap is closing. We can only hope that the wise council provided by McCullogh and Reid lands in fertile ground and the notion takes root.  We can hope.

Speaking of which, I hope the next round turns up soon, I’m not a glass half empty type of bloke. A full one beats a half empty one – any day. IOS v BRB tonight – could be interesting.
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All very well regarding the Australian Public Service, but are the numerous independent statutory bodies subject in the same degree to the various APS requirements? I doubt it, CASA for one has always shown disregard for such infringements on it’s ‘safety’ of doing business for itself.
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I'm with Chubby - Time to KPI the miniscule.  Wink

By Stevie E, via the Mandarin:

Quote:Is it time for ministerial KPIs and performance management? Ian Chubb thinks so

By Stephen Easton  11/09/2018
[Image: press-club.jpg]
Australia’s former chief scientist Ian Chubb thinks government ministers should be subject to a public performance management system, so voters can judge how seriously they take their actual jobs versus their political careers.

Chubb saw seven science ministers over five years in that role, but was only certain that one “really wanted the job” itself; he suspected the other six were mostly just interested in the front-bench experience.
“They should be required to articulate their goals for their portfolio and report publicly and formally on their progress on an annual basis, explaining to us Australians … the relationship between what they said they would do and what they actually did,” he told the National Press Club last week.

Chubb thinks citizens are entitled to expect ministers to “stay in the job long enough to grow into the job, and to make a difference” as a general rule, and that a more formal performance framework would both encourage to higher public expectations of government leaders, and encourage ministers to live up to them.

The former Australian National University vice-chancellor is known for his dry humour and some in the media pack weren’t sure if one suggestion was entirely serious: that parliamentary entitlements go through Centrelink.

“Let’s achieve some of the efficiencies that we’re endlessly after and improve accountability by transferring responsibility for MPs’ so-called entitlements to the same agency, because we have to remember that after all, they are of us, they are not separate from us,” said Chubb, keeping a straight face as quizzical looks were exchanged and laughter began breaking out.

“So, you wouldn’t need to change practice guidelines. MPs would be held to the same standard of proof regarding, for example, their personal arrangements, the declaration of their assets and liabilities, and their travel, exactly as required of other Australians in receipt of public benefits.

“Debts would also be recovered using the approach that MPs have mandated for all the rest of us Australians. Any MPs who considered the standard of service to be inadequate or wrong could call the Centrelink helpline.”

Acerbic observations

The former chief scientist joined businesswoman Heather Ridout and Griffith University professor Anne Tiernan to give an address called: Rebooting Australian Democracy: Renewing Faith with Voters.

“Governments and political parties generally aren’t much better (than business). And we’ve seen it on display in the last two weeks: dishonesty, disloyalty, bullying, misogyny, short-termism, and no accountability.” – Heather Ridout

The trio made plenty of acerbic observations about careerist politicians and the malaise they believe has infected democracy over the past decade or so. The symptoms — like droves of voters turning away from the major parties, and a growing proportion of the electorate failing to vote in recent elections, or even to enrol — are well known.

Ridout said governments appeared to use their electoral mandate “to legitimise their own actions, rather than to support the people” and pointed the finger at the culture of political parties and their lack of ethnic and gender diversity.

“Governments lecture business all the time about bad culture and how terrible it is in business,” she said. “We see it every day, but actually … governments and political parties generally aren’t much better. And we’ve seen it on display in the last two weeks: dishonesty, disloyalty, bullying, misogyny, short-termism, and no accountability.”

The former Australian Industry Group chief noted the big parties were running short on members, as well as moral authority. She supports campaign finance reform, fixed four-year terms and thinks the Liberals should adopt rules that make it harder for the parliamentary wing to replace a prime minister, as Labor did.

“We need to adopt a genuine people-first culture, not just lapel badges and populists who claim this mantra and then call anyone who disagrees with them illegitimate,” Ridout argued.

“We need a genuine leadership around shared values. We also need to develop a more win-win culture with government, business and the people working together, not this win-lose, I win, you lose, this binary argument, which has been so dominant in the debates around climate change and things we’ve been listening to lately.”

Tiernan also linked the declining enthusiasm for civic participation and loss of trust in public institutions to a drop in ministerial standards and respect for the conventions of responsible government, with more time devoted to partisan mud-slinging and internecine battles, undermining public policy outcomes.

But all of this is a chicken-and-egg situation, at least to some degree — a vicious cycle that might be turned into a virtuous cycle — and part of a bigger global phenomenon: the erosion of trust in experts, authority figures and widely accepted facts.

Why ministers need short courses

Chubb suggested his “plan to increase accountability and transparency” was a practical way to rehabilitate Australian political culture from both ends, by empowering citizens to demand higher performance from executive government, and creating new incentives for ministers to try their hardest and put the public interest first.

He proposed the end of Dorothy Dixers in question time, along with rules requiring a minimum share of questions about each major portfolio. That way, opposition parties would get to question the government relentlessly, but they would also be forced to probe a broader range of policy areas every sitting day.

[Image: ian-chubb-crop.jpg]
Ian Chubb


Representative democracy means no qualifications or experience are required to hold office and ministers often have little expertise that is relevant to their portfolio. But, all three speakers argued, they should still be doing their best, trying to learn all they can and striving for the best outcomes.

“They don’t become special, they don’t become especially wise or knowledgeable just because we’ve given them that job, but surely we can expect from them what our employers expect from us — the capacity and the will to learn what is needed to do the job,” Chubb said.

He thinks short courses in basic science and maths would be a good start, offering lessons like “how to distinguish evidence from snake oil, how to distinguish the genuine from the noisy” and a crash course in statistics and probability. “The MPs who chose not to attend, or who appeared to think that understanding was not relevant to the policies on which they vote, should be listed publicly.”

Chubb contrasted contemporary political leaders with those who persuaded the sceptical people of the Australian colonies to form a federation.

“To presume now that nation-building will be a priority in an era dominated by a self-serving political class that’s infiltrated by a born-to-rule mob is a folly of the highest order. We have to lift our expectations. We must require talent and principles and ethics in our politicians, and competence and consistency and vision.
“And we should require leadership — and leadership along with courage — because sometimes, they will simply have to persuade us that they have to do things that some of us might not like.

“We can’t run this country by getting a unanimous position on everything, and we employ leaders to show us the way.”

Chubb observed that any solutions to the downward spiral must involve persuading the public to re-engage with democracy. “It does not mean more disinterest on our part. Change is what we have to demand, and we will have to engage with the process to get it.”
Institutional thinking and collective leadership

Tiernan has been thinking about these issues for a long time and made a series of razor-sharp observations about the structural areas she believes are most ripe for reform.


[Image: PanelA-4-Tiernan-e1536626919983.png]

Anne Tiernan

The political science and public administration expert acknowledged that Australia’s political system was largely successful by international standards, and expressed confidence that democracy might be reinvigorated by renewed participation in mass movements, especially from young people and women.

Chubb lamented a lack of courage on the part of political leaders but Tiernan believes the era of old-fashioned “heroic” leaders is past. If a healthier democratic paradigm is to emerge, she argues it will require “collective leadership, which means alliances across sectors” and “institutional thinking – thinking about things that are bigger than us and that are going to endure long after we’re gone, and that actually give us a set of responsibilities”.

Tiernan sees destructive partisan rivalry — self-interest over the public interest — evident in recent changes to the way oppositions typically behave and how governments treat them, how changes of government are handled, and in contests for party leadership.

“The second impediment is embedded in the advisory arrangements that have evolved to support the Prime Minister and Cabinet,” she added.

“These, and the constant interruptions, deprive them of institutional memory and the capacity to learn. They also empower the enemy within.

“I worry that some members of Australia’s political class either don’t know, or have forgotten, the obligations and responsibilities conferred on our elected representatives.” – Anne Tiernan

“That Australia has had five prime ministers in five years highlights a third structural factor that has become intrinsic to modern politics — the rise of careerists in political parties whose primary raison d’être is to gain and maintain power; not policy or reform.

“Nowhere have we seen the toxic consequences of this development more clearly than in the challenge to Malcolm Turnbull. We know it was all about politics, not policy, nor, as we’ve learned, about the government’s electoral prospects.”

Next is increasing disrespect for the conventions of responsible government. “I worry that some members of Australia’s political class either don’t know, or have forgotten, the obligations and responsibilities conferred on our elected representatives,” said Tiernan.

“My list of casualties includes the conventions of ministerial responsibility, cabinet confidentiality, the merit principle, the caretaker conventions, and the tradition of treating the opposition as an executive in waiting; others would likely add the inability to comply with section 44 of the Constitution, and the failure of senators to reflect their state’s rather than their party’s interests.”

Tiernan sees this corrosion of conventions creating more “uncertainty and confusion” about the roles of the executive, judicial and legislative arms. “It has created a spiral of dysfunction which, at its heart, is about disrespect — for the self, for others, for alternative points of view, and for anyone outside the faction, the tribe, the base, including, as we have seen, those on your own side.”

Tiernan said the biggest public issue being ignored by the “people in the bubble” was growing inequality, and suggested the battlers — especially in her home state of Queensland — would decide the next election.

“Democratic disenchantment in Australia is palpable and it’s been exacerbated by the hyper-partisan revenge politics that has destroyed careers, wasted time, money, and opportunities, and left the Australian public bewildered and dismayed,” she said.

But the professor noted that “rehabilitating institutional thinking among the political class” is only one side of the issue. A well-functioning democracy also needs “active citizens” who understand how the system works and the key principles and conventions it is based on.

“We must be prepared to hold to account MPs, senators, and others who show disdain for those principles,” she told the Press Club, with a nod to her fellow panellist.

“I personally hadn’t thought of publishing them, Ian, but that’s not a bad idea. They must feel the political consequences of their recklessness, their short-termism, and their disrespect.”

Top image: (from left) Sabra Lane, Anne Tiernan, Ian Chubb and Heather Ridout at the Press Club event.

MTF...P2  Tongue
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The drought is down on field and flock, - (ABP).

Thorny has provided a piece from the ABC – HERE – which is worth a read and should be a high priority item for our ‘safety’ agencies. Of course, CASA have taken appropriate steps:-

“The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has warned a key engine component is wearing out much faster than it should, and has taken the step of urging pilots operating R-22 or R-44 helicopters in the northern regions of Australia — particularly those using them for mustering — to be aware of the risks.”

Fatuous advice, offered to those who have raised the issue – really? What a great demonstration of CASA logic.

Engineers and pilots – “Hoi, we’ve got a problem up here, someone will get killed because of it”.

CASA – “Well yes you do seem to have a problem; y’all be careful out there, now, y’ hear”.





Really helpful, insightful advice; stellar.

Would it be too much to expect that our safety watchdogs, ATSB and CASA took a proactive stance; even dragged in the CSIRO to have a look-see at what may be causing the engine failures and, if there is a cure? Perhaps the miniscule could even politely ask CASA to consider getting off its plump, polished posterior and actually do something toward ‘safety’. The cattle industry ain’t a small time operation, it generates a truck load of revenue and export dollars, be a shame if the muster was delayed due to picking up Robinson parts and etc.
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OINK OINK

Another day, another politician wasting OUR money with his snout (and bald head) in the trough;

Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert slugging taxpayers $2,800 per month for home internet

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered an investigation into why his Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert has been slugging taxpayers up to $2,800 a month for internet bills at his home on Queensland's Gold Coast.
Mr Robert, the Member for Fadden, said "connectivity issues" at his home on Queensland's Gold Coast were to blame for his unusually high bills.
Mr Robert charged taxpayers more than $11,000 for home data over a six-month period, the latest parliamentarians' expenditure reports show, which is an average of $1,846 a month for internet usage.

Our GayBC link below;

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-05...e/10342074

‘Connectivity issues’! Ha ha. Welcome to the great NBN lemon mate. Even our Pollywafflers can’t get good service! But don’t worry, let’s spend $2,800 per month! WTF?????? What the hell is he doing, looking at the same websites that Pyne ‘accidentally’ looks at?

What a joke. Again, Pollywafflers abuse and misuse our money. I bet if he had to use his own money he would be spending $110 per month. And that would include free football viewing data and access to the best Grindr profiles out there!!!

“Safe download misuse for all”
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