From what I now understand since getting to grips with the seeming best practises and example code it looks like the flash views are created on the satge by the stage mediator all are hidden and managed at this point. Of course by this time the pmvc framework is all up and running.
With flex I see the visual elements all created before we run the startup command as they are children of the Application tag (don't have to be) and we only start the pmvc framework on the application complete.
I am looking at just having the application tag then doing similar to the flash creation method doing the framework first idea, it just makes more sense to me.BTW examples use creationComplete however in this thread this is why null was comming through
I now use applicationComplete="facade.startup(this); this is no longer null !