Coffs City Skydivers operations from South Grafton aerodrome are considered an unacceptable risk by Clarence Valley Council.
Coffs City Skydivers operations from South Grafton aerodrome are considered an unacceptable risk by Clarence Valley Council. Skydive Ramblers Sunshine Coast

Skydivers may pull pin in chute row

SKYDIVING is too risky for the Clarence Valley Council.

At Tuesday night's environment, planning and works committee meeting the council took steps to stop Coffs City Skydivers operating out of the South Grafton aerodrome.

Mayor Richie Williamson said after the meeting he was worried about the risks associated with the company's activities.

"The council remains unconvinced that the level of risk is something that would be acceptable to it and we will be considering the report in full on Tuesday," he said.

"It's not so much an issue on where the planes take off and land but where the parachutists land. That's the major issue that hasn't been overcome."

Cr Williamson said the perception the business had been chased out of town was not something he agreed with.

"The council is open to business and we encourage responsible business investment but when there's a risk that, in my view, is significant we have to act responsibly to alleviate it."

On October 12, 2012, Coffs City Skydivers' chief instructor Lawrence Hill took exception to accusations relating to the company's safety record.

"The biggest problem with all of this is that we have not been consulted," he said at the time.

"I do not recall anyone hitting a building while skydiving with us or almost hitting a rotating propeller."

Mr Hill also said further action by the council would lead to the company pulling out of the Valley and they had since expanded their operation to the Kempsey area. Mr Hill was contacted for comment but was unavailable.



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