Angus Houston chairman of AirServices Australia in an explanatory moment

Dick Smith has driven a long series of disclosures in recent weeks in The Australian of absurdities in the administration of air services and safety in this country, and this morning’s installment concerning Lord Howe Island air traffic issues is by far the most telling.

However it is behind a paywall, although there is no doubt it is being read by its targets, the inefficient and often parasitical bureaucracy that brings no value, and certainly doesn’t enhance safety, when it comes to general and regional aviation activity in Australia.

Inexplicably, Angus Houston, who prefers just to be called Angus without all this knights and dames nonsense, has chosen to remain silent over the issues in AirServices Australia,  where he is the chairman.

Angus is a distinguished figure in public life, and a person of great integrity, and his silence and apparent inaction, is a puzzle.

No one expects him to respond here, but it would be appropriate, if he could defend or explain why this lunacy in Air Services Australia is tolerated, even if for the sole edification of readers behind the paywall.

This is a Federal Government that has made much about reducing red tape and pointless counter productive regulation. Why is it so weak on reforming AirServices Australia, the industry funded air navigation service, as well as CASA the safety regulator and the embarrassing and compromised mess that its the safety investigation, the ATSB, given its shameful handling of the Pel-Air incident?

Is this another just another example of phony do-nothing-of-substance bravado by the Federal Government, which seems incapable of escaping from the grip of its bureaucrats, who keep telling it everything is just fine in aviation, like they did in the case of Pel-Air, or does it have the fortitude to pursue and deliver reforms, starting with a long overdue round of terminations of those who stand in its way?

Inefficient or self serving practices in public administration are similar to club like behavior over bank fees. They are a burden on the economy, and unjust impositions on enterprise. And in the case of air safety practices in Australia, often manifestly contrary to the pursuit of safer skies.

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