Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Update - NCA rules out V8 boat race for lake
Bleeding hearts win again... :fmad:
From the Canberra Times
The National Capital Authority ruled last night against a power-boat grand prix planned for November in the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin.
The three-day event would have seen around 60 works teams in various categories of power boating coming to Canberra as part of a trans-Tasman trophy series, with a potential $250,000 spin-off for Canberra's economy and a promise of national and international media coverage.
The NCA's managing director of business, Lindsay Evans, said the authority had "said no" to the application because organisers had failed to demonstrate that the event would meet necessary safety and environmental requirements.
Organisers were professional and well managed, with experience in power-boat events. "However, given the time constraints and the fact that the safety and environmental issues are paramount to the authority, we weren't in a position to approve the application at this stage," Mr Evans said.
The lake ecology would not have been at risk and the NCA had agreed to consider up to two power-boat events each year in the central basin. Water-skiing had been well attended in the past and the NCA would consider an additional event if it was unique or had national or international standing.
The NCA was "always looking at opportunities" to attract more visitors to Canberra and would be willing to consider applications "of this nature" in the future.
The Australian Power Boat Association's vice-president, Grant Harrison, said he and other members were shattered by the decision, after being led to believe they had NCA support.
He said it was very disappointing and that many plans had been derailed.
The NCA had taken great interest in the event and had even suggested it should be free to the public. He had believed the NCA had given its backing, and they had been given approval by safety authorities.
"Probably $250,000 has been thrown out of the window now," he said. "Somewhere along the line there were wires crossed. We got a grant from ACT Tourism. We are a lot wiser now, and disappointed. We are shattered after months of being led to believe we had their support in principle."
The association had had only one serious accident in 25 years of racing and environmental concerns were no different to any other event.
The executive director of the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chris Peters, said he was disappointed to hear the NCA did not have the time to approve the application. "The V8 boat race has the potential to bring another exciting activity to Canberra to add to the rich tapestry of events," he said. "The chamber is keen to work with V8 boat organisers to ensure that the needs of the NCA are addressed for a future event."
ACT Business and Tourism Minister Ted Quinlan said the three-day event did not fall into the category of events that would create jobs and income for the community.
"I am not really convinced that three-day event would be a boost to genuine employment," Mr Quinlan said.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.