News

Skydiving in legal tangle

John McCutcheon

THERE is no safe place for a skydiver to land on the South Grafton Airfield says a legal report prepared on behalf of the airfield managers.

The chairman of Clarence Valley Council's Section 355 committee that manages the airfield, Ken Dawes, told a council committee meeting last Tuesday there were three fundamental safety issues in the safety regulations governing parachuting operations.

  •  The drop zone must be a circle 400m across free of any hazards.
  •  The drop zone must be 600m from any populous area.
  •  The airfield runway and taxiway is considered a hazard because of the aircraft using it and must not be considered safe to land on.

Council has been investigating the risks of skydiving activities resuming at the airfield after they were suspended in July 2013.

Skydiving business Coffs City Skydivers has lobbied council to reopen the airfield since its closure.

Mr Dawes said the company had a one-year licence to operate from the airfield, which expired on June 30.

Mr Dawes commissioned Sydney barrister Darryl Warren to examine council's exposure to litigation in the event of a parachuting accident on the airfield.

His report was critical of a number of documents which council staff relied on to prepare its report to council.

These include a letter from Coffs City Skydivers, a consultants' report from Aviation Projects, aerial photographs and a letter from the Australian Parachute Federation and APF Operational Regulations covering drop zone requirements.

Mr Dawes hoped the councillors understood that the reasons behind his committee's objections to skydiving resuming at the airfield were motivated by legal and safety concerns.

The council officers' recommendation is for skydiving to resume at the airfield, subject to relevant development applications and subsequent consents. They also want Aviation Projects to supply documents backing up part of their advice and a quote for legal advice to address other items in their report.

The committee deferred making a decision on the matter to Tuesday's council meeting.

Topics:  aerodrome, clarence valley council, skydiving, south grafton




Suspended jail sentence for AVO breach

A Coast pensioner has been refused bail after being charged with drug trafficking.

Palmers Island man was handed a nine-month suspended jail term.

No-nonsense enforcer joins Rebel ranks

NO NONSENSE: Rebels’ new enforcer Cameron Willcox.

Competition leaders bolster front rower stocks

Two men allegedly bash cop car with axe handles

Grafton Courthouse.

Police say the men threatened an officer before bashing the car

Latest deals and offers

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

Sunshine Coast cooks to do battle for Masterchef crown

asterChef Australia finalists Matt Sinclair and Elena Duggan.

Noosa's Matt and Elena stay mates to the very end.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started