Liberal Senator for South Australia David Fawcett has condemned the federal minister responsible for aviation for “failing to respond to the damning findings of the Senate Inquiry into the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) which was released on 23 May 2013.”
“Even the announcement of an external review of the ATSB by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) was not made by the Minister but by the agency in question,” Fawcett added.
“This raises serious concerns about the efficacy of any resulting report unless the Minister ensures that the terms of reference and Australian management of the audit are transparent and independent.”
Senator Fawcett, who chaired the Senate inquiry into aviation accident investigations and is a former Army test pilot, told Australian Aviation in July: “The government is not allowed to simply ignore the report and its 26 recommendations.”
Fawcett called on Minister Albanese to ensure the review of the ATSB has the confidence of the aviation industry and the public by adopting Recommendation 8 of the Senate report.
The Senate recommended that “an expert aviation safety panel be established to ensure quality control of ATSB investigation and reporting processes along the lines set out by the committee.”
“While the engagement of the Canadian TSB is welcome, the gravity of the issues raised in the Senate report means that the Minister should be overseeing the review with the support of an expert panel rather than the ATSB,” Fawcett said.
“It is critical that this review of the ATSB is allowed to examine all sensitive areas of the ATSB investigation processes as identified in the Senate report including the Canley Vale accident”