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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6979

Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 6 November 2002:

(1) Has the Minister received any complaints regarding the operation of the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit; if so: (a) when was each complaint received; (b) what action did the Minister take following each complaint; and (c) when did the Minister take that action.

(2) If the Minister referred the above complaints to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA): (a) when was each complaint referred to CASA; (b) how was each complaint referred to CASA; and (c) to whom in CASA was each complaint referred.

(3) Did CASA undertake an investigation following the referral of each of the above complaints from the Minister; if so: (a) when did each investigation commence; (b) who undertook each investigation; (c) when was each investigation completed; and (d) who was provided with a copy of the report of the findings of the above investigations.

(4) Did any of the above reports recommend any changes to the operation of the unit; if so, in each case: (a) what were the changes recommended; (b) when were those recommendations communicated to the unit; (c) did the unit implement all of the recommendations; and (d) when were these changes implemented by the unit.

(5) If the unit did not implement all of the above recommendations, why not, and, in each case, what follow-up action was taken by CASA in response to this failure to implement the recommendations.

(6) If the Minister, or his office, was provided with a copy of the report of the above investigations: (a) when was each report provided to the Minister or his office; and (b) what action was taken following the receipt of the above reports.

Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has provided the following advice.

(1) to (6) The matters referred to in the question are currently the subject of a Coronial Inquiry. It would be inappropriate and prejudicial to the conduct of the inquiry to respond to questions which are central to its proceedings.