This is an opinion piece.
I love the Australian namespace, and have been an active participant in it for many years. However, it now really pains me to say that unless something changes quickly, the new auDA is a train wreck waiting to happen. And I’m just one of an increasing number that feel that way.
Using a train as an analogy, the old auDA Steam Train chugged along the same old track at very low speeds. You knew what time the train would appear; you knew the various Station Masters, Conductors and Staff. Occasionally, it would be emboldened by its stakeholders and passengers to try out a new route. But before doing so, it made sure that it’s personnel and passengers were generally happy and up to speed. And so it continued year after year. A little boring and predictable, but nevertheless, they generally offered a solid and dependable service.
Then one day, some “enterprising people” (EP) decided things had to change. The steam engine must be replaced with a diesel engine; and a new regime of personnel introduced. Out with the old; in with the new. The grand plan was that this new diesel engine was going to revolutionise things, and that EVERYONE would be far happier. So these EP set their plan in motion, and the takeover was swift and ruthless.
So I guess you know which track I’m heading down now!
In the 22 months since this takeover, the new auDA Diesel has had a number of derailments, some of which have caused lots of personal injuries. Not to mention the cost of repairs. These derailments now seem to be happening with greater frequency. Every time one happens, someone invariably gets a DCM (Don’t Come Monday); and the Diesel is put back on the track and starts the journey again as if nothing had happened.
Over the course, some of the original EP have left and been replaced.
The same driver (backed by some of the EP) is allowed to continue because it surely couldn’t be his fault. I say “backed by some” because I believe there are some old and new members of the EP that don’t back him anymore, but they are outnumbered and/or overruled. But I may be wrong on that.
Behind the scenes, these EP are engaging consultant after consultant to tell them how they get back to the original “grand plan” / vision of change. And in the meantime, the personnel wonder amongst themselves “whose turn is it next to get a DCM?”.
These derailments and personnel changes have now caught the attention of the media. More and more “bad news” stories are starting to appear – along with lots of passenger and personnel complaints. The Train Regulator has now been forced to sit up and take notice, and all of a sudden some of the EP are probably getting a little nervous. As is the train driver.
It’s Only A Matter Of Time
Unless something changes soon, there will be a formal accounting for this. There has to be, because the pressure is mounting. The train crashes need to end.
Personnel may avail themselves of whistleblower protection and spill the beans. Previous personnel who have been paid for “non-disclosure” will be able to speak without fear of retribution.
I’ve heard it said that some passengers and certain stakeholders may look at the possibility of a “Class Action” for damages if the fear and uncertainty continues.
If I was an EP that allowed this to continue (or didn’t formally register their concerns), I’d be worried. Some reputations will be on the line.
Ned O’Meara – 18th October 2017