Amazing and inexplicable coincidences have come to light involving party political donations from REX, the owner of Pel-Air, in 2012, after a fierce internal disagreement had broken out in that year in the ATSB over the conduct of its investigation of the ditching of a Pel-Air jet in 2009.
It’s a complex story, involving as it does the persistence of Karen Casey, the nurse who was seriously injured in the crash, in uncovering the donations, and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, in discovering the bitter disagreements that occurred in its Australian counterpart, the ATSB, in the course of arriving at a disgraceful and discredited accident report.
It is told today in the Crikery Insider subscriber bulletin. The story coincides with continued speculation about the future of Warren Truss, the deputy PM and Nationals leader who is also responsible, but at times it seems in absentia, for aviation safety in this country.
Will Mr Truss deal with matters that involve his National Party and ministerial predecessor, John Sharp, who is on the board of REX and chairman of Pel-Air, and would therefore have knowledge of the donations? The story sets the scene for some critical questions for the Coalition, which in this case, appears to have no appetite for correcting the neglect of the Pel-Air issues which was a hallmark of Anthony Albanese’s time as Labor’s aviation minister.