Archive (Q1 2015) LAW REPORT: Canopy Manufacturers Pty Ltd and John Challinor and Department of Aviation [1985] AATA 14 (GAD) N84/56 (25 January 1985) 7 ALN N122


-7th October 1983 (inquiry submission)

-25th January 1985 (Hearing)


A.N. Hall (Deputy President)

Captain P.J. Gibbes (Member)

G.R. Taylor (Member)


APPLICANTS: Mr T.G. Hartmann, Mr R.H. Macready

RESPONDANTS:  Secretaries,  Mr B. Skinner



Request for a common public-law inquiry by applicant to respondent’s Department-of-Aviation (DOI) (on 7th October 1983), under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH), for investigatory-sensitive information and documents in relation to a fatal Cessna 210M piston-powered aircraft accident (VH-MDX) near Barrington Tops (commercial operation:  YBCG-YBSK), NSW on 9 August 1981 19:40 EST (, 2015). On the 3rd November 1983, request was denied (refusal of access) by DoA, and the non-compelled case for access to documents and departmental reports (or parts of) devaluated by enactment-referred exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH) (or lack thereof). Later, under internal review (under FOI Act (VIC, NSW, ACT) 1983/1989/1989 for “public access in possession of Commonwealth ministers and authorities” (Bartsch, 1996)), information was published with withheld/unpublished data as of which follows:

  • Flight recorder report (pp. 15-22)
  • Investigator Reports (pp. 24-26)
  • Air-Safety Incident-Report (pp. 30)
  • Transcript (VH-MDX) (pp. 31-76)

The above unpublished/withheld information have been litigated through The Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (CTH) (Supreme Court of New South Wales proceedings, Sydney Registry, Common Law Division no: 14164 of  1983) for review and accessibility through “natural justice”.



Both parties utilized details of accident in context of available data to prescribe need of unpublished information. The respondent, being the Department of Aviation (DoA) relied upon claim-of-exemption justification grounds within the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH) s.38, upon which the applicant regarded it in context of the Air Navigation Act 1947 (CTH) reg. 283 (1-2), 227A, 278, 282, 312 (Ratification upon Chicago convention; repeal of ANA 1920 (CTH))to debunk/reject facilitation of FOI Act 1982, while reserving liberty-capability for further information-exposure and transparency.

This is upon which applicant Mr R.H. Macready argues upon validity of cases, interpretation/specification of public information under ANA 1947 reg.283 to protect information exposure, DoA information ease/recycle capability, statutory administrative law interpretation and legislative framework amendment bid (purpose of transparency safeguard, accessibility to government files and simplified avenues of redress) for flaws of public domain information display coherency with Tribunal interpretation of public matters and vice versa within ANA 1947, and hence bid for enactment of prohibition power for secretary approval under FOI Act 1982 s.38.

These were rebutted by respondent  Mr B. Skinner in context of previous cases, accident-information (Evidence to Refute Readford’s VH-MDX Crash Scenario, 2015), information and nature of publicity of VHF equipment and Tribunal/secretary  interpretation, literal rule of public information, and secretary power capacity in information retainment/withdrawal (respectively to information above).



Through the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (CTH), conclusive statements by Honours dictates information disclosure transparency exemptions , prohibition referencing and enactment of specification/specificity/nature analysis of non-disclosed information by authorization/publication bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH) s.38 (unanimously upon non-ambiguous, non-contingent information facilitative equally to requiring-recipients and general public-domain specification). This is contingent upon as described above, along with as follows;

  • The National Companies and Securities Commission Act 1979 (CTH) s. 47 (in relation to NCSC ACT 1979 (CTH)) specified in non-cannibalization position by interpretation contrast to Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH) s.38
  • OMBUDSMAN ACT 1976 (CTH) 35 provided power for Primary/Deputy Ombudsmen to disclose information under Freedom of Information Act 1982 (CTH) s.38
  • Applicant (Mr R.H. Macready): Air Navigation Act 1947 (CTH) reg. 283 (1). No reference to information/prescription/amplification, overruled by ANR P.XVI
  • Respondent (Mr B. Skinner): Air Navigation Act 1947 (CTH) reg. 278/283 terminology overruled by Golden Rule, and distinguishable to relatable prescriptions for amendments-bid (Federal Court: News-Corporation/Kavvadias)






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