It’s not every day that someone puts out a press release begging people to stop calling. Ladies and gentlemen … meet Dick Smith. He has nothing to say.

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Subject: Dick Smith media release re Qantas

MEDIA RELEASE THURSDAY 9 OCTOBER 2008

DICK SMITH SAYS, “PLEASE STOP PHONING ME ABOUT QANTAS — I CAN’T DO ANYTHING.”

Dick Smith said, “Since the serious Qantas incident I have been besieged with phone calls from the media wanting me to comment on the aviation safety problems we have in Australia today.

“I have not been Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), nor responsible for aviation safety, for over nine years,” said Dick Smith.

“Yes, I am concerned about what is happening. However for me to comment is a futile waste of time. A decade ago I warned what the results would be if strong enforcement — using administrative fines — did not take place.

“Please call the man in charge, Mr Mike Taylor, Secretary of the Department, who is responsible for CASA, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), and Airservices Australia. His phone number is 02 6274 7573,” said Dick Smith.

“He is the person who can give you comments in relation to airline safety in Australia and the present ability of the people at CASA to enforce the safety regulations, or give comments on the ability of the ATSB to stand up to Qantas and write a report without fear or favour.

“Mr Taylor would also be able to comment on why we have airlines operating in airspace without any air traffic services.

Dick Smith said, “In my experience, operational staff within the bureaucracy would have their future careers curtailed if they actually stood up and told the truth.”

Peter Fray

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