Sydney Harbour heliport: collected news coverage

The fall-out continues over Newcastle Helicopters’ proposed floating heliport/helipad in Sydney Harbour, the application for which was abysmally mis-managed by the NSW Government. The project was finally declared ‘indefinitely on-hold’ on Saturday afternoon after residents and other interested parties had begun to kick up a stink.

What was telling about the whole project was how little information was made available to the public until it could be announced as a fait accompli. I have been gathering together all of the reports from local newspapers on the project,1 and give links to them below. I have also made PDFs for posterity.

Pre-history: before the floating heliport plan was announced

20th November 2012

  • Sydney Morning Herald (AAP): ‘Floating heliport for Sydney harbour’ [PDF]
    At this point in the proceedings, the Herald just seems to be printing pro-heliport press-releases. The picture included with the article, supplied by Newcastle Helicopters, would go on to be used with many articles on the heliport; it is amusing to note that the image depicts a helicopter banking sharply to land on the helipad (the kind of manoeuvre which Newcastle Helicopters subsequently promised that they would never permit in order to limit helicopter noise), and that many of the buildings of the Sydney skyline are not included—Sydney Tower (Centrepoint) has just completely disappeared from Newcastle Helicopters’ idealized world-view.
  • Daily Telegraph (AAP): ‘Heliport for high flyers of Sydney’ [PDF]
    The Telegraph’s first article on the project is clear and non-judgemental, a far cry from the tone of what little subsequent coverage it produced. Here we see that ‘artist’s impression’ again.

26th November 2012

28th November 2012

5th December 2012

13th December 2012

18th December 2012

19th December 2012

20th December 2012

  • Daily Telegraph: ‘A narrow view of the bigger picture’ (comment) [PDF]
    The Telegraph displays a concerted campaign against residents who would be seriously affected by Newcastle Helicopters’ heliport, trying to drum up ill will towards higher-income demographics.
  • Daily Telegraph: ‘Sorry Premier, not in my pad’ [PDF]
    The Telegraph’s position is illogical and, ultimately, untenable. They try to make hay out of the fact that the federal and local politicians involved in campaigning against the heliport have homes which would be affected by it, and that therefore the elected officials are using their position to campaign in their own self-interest. The Telegraph fails to realize that it is precisely because they have these homes that the politicians are in a position to represent the interests of residents who elected them; indeed residents are more likely to vote for candidates who are similar to them in the belief that those candidates will be best-equipped to represent their interests.
  • Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Helicopters as noisy as a quiet office, company says’ [PDF]
    Newcastle Helicopters comes up with spurious claims about the semi-serious noise-tests conducted from our building and from Cremorne Point.
  • Wentworth Courier: ‘Sydney Harbour heliport plan has us all spinning’ (comment) [PDF]
  • Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Premier’s helipad is not cleared for any landings’ (comment) [PDF]

21st December 2012

  • Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Chopper plan in tailspin as harbour anger grows’ [PDF]
  • Sydney Morning Herald: ‘“Expert” had never reported on helicopter noise levels’ [PDF]
    The ‘consultant’ employed to shill for Newcastle Helicopters was revealed to have lied about his qualifications and affiliations. Anyone who read the report which Newcastle Helicopters has since removed from its website could tell that he was ill-equipped to deal with a major civil development. His presentation at the North Sydney/Mosman residents’ meeting underlined this: the only previous project which he could cite having worked on was with the airport at The Oaks, an aerodrome with three grass runways on the outer edges of a rural Sydney suburb. This, of course, is something completely different to a high-traffic floating heliport in the middle of one of Australia’s most famous landmarks and beauty-spots, among some of the densest population in the country, close to hundreds of thousands of residents.

22nd December 2012

Morning

Afternoon

Footnotes

  1. I am ignoring coverage from international sources, as those are more likely just to report on the development with no interest in discussing its controversial negative aspects.

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