Firstly: I couldn't go to Bunvegas so if anyone would like to compose a guest blog on the WARC assault on the South West, please feel free. Now, on to serious matters.
We've been asked to provide some information to the City of Perth about our access requirements to allow a potential new eastern access way out of Riverside Drive.
The way it was explained to me by the City of Perth is there were some senior managers who wanted to know why WARC could not reverse trailers out of the eastern entrance, or just turn trailers around in the loading zone of the Club.
I thought I would share the answers to these questions with you, should it ever come up in casual conversation.
I understand City of Perth was keen to have some more information about the access requirements of the West Australian Rowing Club on Riverside Drive.
WARC is a heritage-listed rowing club with about 100 members aged from 14 to over 80, and we have one member on the current Australian team.
The club was founded in 1868 and has been located in its current position on Perth water since 1905. Our club is on a riverbed lease with the Department of Transport and we hold a jetty licence.
WARC has dealt with the City of Perth for more than 30 years on issues associated with the access road on Riverside Drive. Fortunately there have been few issues raised in the past decade that have resulted in any conflict, thanks to a great deal of negotiation and good will on both sides.
When the Barrack Square redevelopment was announced, we immediately started liaising first with the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority and later with Leighton Broad, and we are comfortable both groups are well aware of our trailer size and access requirements. Please see evidence of our correspondence attached. The information provided in this document has been provided to both bodies.
I acknowledge the frustration those involved in this project at the City of Perth may have at this latest development of a need for a new exit from the Riverside service lane. I would like to make the point the WA Rowing Club flagged this issue as early as 2012, and were assured our requirements were well understood.
For your information, these are the dimensions of the trailer we use to transport boats.
We transport our boats on average once a fortnight (two trips each time) during winter, and probably once every three weeks or so from September to March. Summer is much more unpredictable as we are at the mercy of Rowing Australia requirements.
The question put to WARC would be whether it would be possible to reverse the trailer along Riverside Drive.
It is the view of the WARC Committee this poses a very significant safety risk. The boat trailer itself is only slightly narrower than the service lane, and to the east of WARC, there is no safety bollards that would prevent a trailer potentially being reversed into the river.
There is almost no margin for error in reversing this trailer that would not result in either damage to City of Perth property to the north, or catastrophic injury to rowing equipment, vehicles and potentially people to the south.
The question was put to WARC whether we could turn the trailer around in the loading zone of WARC and use the eastern exit.
We also considered this. At 12m without boats, it would need significant maneuvering in our loading zone and we are not confident that can be achieved.
More significantly, the exit to the East would require a very sharp left-hand turn that would put at risk street lights, rubbish bins, and of course the boats themselves. (see illustration).
The advice we provided to Leighton Broad was as follows:
Our first preference is an exit to the immediate west of WARC. This would alleviate any future conflict with the Barrack Square development and allow safe and easy access.
Our second preference is an additional exit to the east of WARC. This exit does pose some safety concerns around loading boats in the dark at close proximity to the river, however we have brainstormed some strategies to mitigate this increased risk.
Our third preference is an exit to the west of WARC as illustrated above.
Our main aims in relation to these exits are as follows:
- That risk of injury and accident associated with boat loading to our members is minimised. Almost all serious injuries sustained by WARC rowers have occurred in the loading, landing and unloading process.
- That WARC can continue to operate as a competitive rowing club and get our boats out of the club for competition.
Our desire is for a permanent solution to be found that would be acceptable for the City of Perth, Barrack Square, the MRA and the 100 members of the WA Rowing Club.
I believe this is possible but do hold the view that compromise will be required. I hope this document clearly explains the compromises we can make and look forward to hearing about some permanent, ongoing solutions to this difficulty.
Peta Rule President 2014