<insert lots of stuff about the start of the season, awesome nationals campaign, amazing learn to row program etc>
Right, now that's out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks.
You might read in the news that WARC is launching a gentle protest against a floating helicopter landing pad earmarked for a site 200m east of the club.
The reason we are launching this soft campaign is when the prospect was first mooted, we contacted the Swan River Trust and the company involved, Skyline Aviation, to ask if we could have the opportunity to have a bit of input. The former told us it was too early for comment, and the letter never responded.
Then this Tuesday, it went to the City of Perth for approval (they're not the approving body, it's just that their opinion is sought through the process). The notes provided to the City of Perth don't once mention rowers - but do mention cyclists and pedestrians. You can read all about it here. The relevant section is on pages 11 and 12, or you can use the "find" function to search for "helicopter".
Our concerns are as follows:
- Operations starting at 7am is dangerous as choppers may be flying out over the river as athletes are returning close to the site. A start-time of 9am during the week and 11am on weekends would be much safer.
- The helipad needs to be appropriately lit. Brightly!
- Ideally it would move east somewhat so it is not in the middle of our 1500m training course, preferably back up near Point Frasier.
This is the little video* we put online to get attention. It worked - tonight it has been viewed almost 1000 times and seen by more than 2500 people:
From here, the matter will go to the Swan River Trust. We have contacted the SRT but not heard back at this stage. If you want to voice your view, you can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org (as mentioned in the video. They're probably hating us for this though!)
Of course, all this could have been avoided if at any point they'd looked at the river and thought "gee I wonder what impact causing strong winds on the water at 7am will have" and come to say "hi." With all the consultation done with us through the EQ, Barrack Square and deck grant projects, I would have had a sufficiently high profile to be taken into account.
Anyway, we'll keep you in the loop. We are confident we find an agreement through this process that will allow us to keep operating, it's just another of the very many hurdles WARC has jumped in more than 145 years of rowing.
*Why video: Facebook metrics favours moving pictures above all other content, so if we're trying to get your attention, we'll use video. Otherwise, we'll just do normal picture and text posts!