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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6984

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

In relation to the Western Australian Police Air Support Unit's request to amend its Air Support Unit operations manual and for its Air Operators Certificate to be reissued by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in early 1998:

(1) If there were concerns held by CASA officers about the proposed amended arrangements, what was the nature of those concerns.

(2) Did the CASA officers who raised concerns about the amendments to the operations manual refer those concerns to their superiors within the authority; if so: (a) who were those concerns referred to; (b) when were those concerns referred; and (c) how were those concerns referred.

(3) If those proposed amendments to the operations manual were eventually approved: (a) who finally approved the amendments; (b) how was that information communicated to the unit; and (c) what was the name of the police officer to whom the communication was addressed.

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 (3) 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.