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CASA needs to justify dumping 10 percent of workforce.

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Media Release


Cheryl Kernot MP

Shadow Minister for Regional Development,

Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Services


11 March 1999





Cheryl Kernot, Shadow Minister for Regional Developmen t and Transport, has called on the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to provide further justification for its plans to cut 10 per cent of its workforce as part of its restructuring program.


Ms Kernot welcomed some aspects of the CASA restructuring. She said the decision to centralise enforcement decisions should ensure a more coordinated and more accountable approach. She also welcomed the decision to direct more resources towards safety education and training for the aviation industry.


However, Ms Kernot said she believed CASA had failed to establish how it could maintain or improve its regulation of aviation safety with a 10 per cent staff cut. “There’s no doubt that CASA has lost a lot of experienced employees in recent years, that it is an organisation struggling to deal with heavy workloads under a great deal of pressure, and that it is an organisation with very low morale,” Ms Kernot said. “I remain to be convinced how these matters can be resolved while 10 per cent of the workforce is being made redundant.”


Ms Kernot also called on CASA to release precise details of where the cuts would be made. “It’s all very well for CASA to say the majority of positions lost will be ‘administrative’, but what exactly does that mean? Earlier this week, there were reports of a 40 per cent cut in CASA’s engineering positions — and these are hands-on people who are crucial to safety maintenance.


“CASA also has many technically qualified people in managerial or administrative positions and the loss of these people would be keenly felt.


“We also need to understand how these staff cuts connect with cuts in other areas of CASA: for example, we know CASA wants to reduce flying hours and flying training for its Flying Operations Inspectors — a move that has been strongly criticised by CASA’s own Pilot Council. Combinations of staff and operational cuts, whether in administrative or technical areas, may have a detrimental impact on CASA’s capacity to regulate aviation safety.


“The public and the aviation industry need to know more detail about the CASA blueprint before deciding whether the loss of 72 jobs truly advances the cause of Australian air safety.”


Contact: Jacqui Flitcroft (02) 6277 4328 or 0419 395 705