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Council provides answers on BBay helipad

Tuesday 25th will see Council hold its Ordinary Council meeting. The agenda has been released and there is no mention of the Batemans Bay helipad nor the temporary status of the arrangements for emergency helicopters using Mackay Park as has been the temporary option put in place following Eurobodalla Council decision in October 2015 to decommission the purpose built emergency helipad adjacent to the Batemans Bay marina. There has been much discussion in these pages for the past week since it was first revealed to the public that the temporary emergency landing area at the Mackay Park oval was still in place after two years. Following the receipt of many emails and phone calls this week wanting more information The Beagle sent off a few questions to Council. The answers below have been provided today by a council spokesperson. Q1: Can Council advise how "Redevelopment resulted in the cessation" because, by the DA it should not have had any impact on the helipad and its performance? Q1 Response: The development application for the redevelopment of the Marina was referred to NSW Health for comment. After consideration and assessment of the development application, a development consent was issued with a specific condition of consent requiring compliance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and NSW Ambulance guidelines It was understood by several who contacted The Beagle that the boundaries of the redevelopment area may have been encroached into the helipad exclusion zone and as a result the helipad safety for pilots was compromised. Q2: Can Council advise if the boundaries of the lease area defined in the DA have been encroached as it is understood that they have been, without alteration of the lease and it was that encroachment that led to the cessation of emergency helicopter operations. Q2 Response: The size or alteration of any lease area is a matter between the NSW government and the proprietor of the Batemans Bay Marina. It was understood by those familiar with the 2013 Development Application that there had been encroachments by parking and storage attributable to the redevelopment and that this has seen the helipad area all but consumed by the development; to the point where the helipad is now identified as a a marina managed facility by their website. Q3: Can Council confirm that the requirements of the DA in regards to parking and storage have been met and are contained within the lease zone. Q3 Response: Council cannot confirm whether the requirements of the development consent in terms of parking and storage have been met as Council was not the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) for the development. Council have been often asked to include in their reports the financial and social consequences of their decisions to the community. On behalf of those who contacted The Beagle asking why the community were not consulted and who would pay we asked: Q4: Can Council advise why Councillors were not advised of the financial burden to the community irrespective of their decision having no financial burden to Council itself? Q4 Response: In the Council Report FBD15/074 you refer to, it is noted that: All costs associated with the establishment of a new helipad facility will be the responsibility of Southern NSW Local Health District.

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