News

Coffs City Sky Diving sent down the “chute” by council

COFFS City Sky Divers will be looking for a parachute after Clarence Valley Council voted unanimously to drop them and suspend their activities, on Tuesday night.

There was anger across the Prince St Chamber as Councillors took issue with a report that had provided them with just one side of the sky diving story.

Councillors are given documents by Clarence Valley Council staff on which they base their decisions before voting.

In this case many of the Councillors were disturbed to find they had only been provided with the perspective of the committee in charge of the South Grafton Aerodrome.

That Committee have raised issues with the safety procedures Coffs City Sky Divers are using.

Throughout the week many of the Councillors were contacted by Coffs City Sky Divers and the Australian Parachute Association, the body over seeing sky diving safety procedures, to say that many of the safety breaches in the Council report were either factually incorrect or out of context examples.

Cr Andrew Baker was angry about the one sidedness of the report which came before the Civil and Corporate Committee saying some of the "council reports ain't very good quality."

Cr Karen Toms went so far as to say she believes "a lot of the information we've been given is quite frankly rubbish."

"The hearsay and the allegations that are in here are exactly that hearsay and allegation," said Cr Toms.

Cr Jeremy Challacombe took a more reserved approach and pointed out how "awful" everyone would feel if there was an accident and someone died or was seriously injured.

"I think this is a responsible way to move forward," he said.

Mayor Richie Williamson said yesterday he believes this is mostly the result of poor communication between the Sky Diving Company, the Aerodrome and Council staff.

He reiterated his undertaking to attend the meetings between the Sky Diving Company and the South Grafton Aerodrome Committee and "sort this issue out."

Topics:  clarence valley council, suspension



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