Helicopter review now online

26 June 2013

Helicopter review now online

The NSW Government has released an independent review into the approval of an aquatic licence for a Sydney Harbour heliport.

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay said he had committed to release the report publicly and today it was uploaded to the Roads and Maritime Services website (RMS).

“An aquatic licence application for a helicopter landing barge in Sydney Harbour was approved by RMS in November last year without consultation with the community or stakeholders,” Mr Gay said.

“The Government engaged an independent reviewer, Peter Loxton to look into what led to the approval being granted without usual process being followed.

“Last year RMS dealt with more than 700 aquatic licences - unfortunately this application was not identified as being of any greater significance than others.

“Extensive community consultation should have been carried out but as it wasn’t, the application was withdrawn in agreement with the proponent.

“I am deeply disappointed the review found a combination of poor judgement, confusion around responsibilities and a lack of communication between government agencies’ contributed to the application being approved.

“The review outlined 26 recommendations to improve internal and external communication and whole of government approval processes. I have accepted all recommendations which have largely been progressed by RMS.

“Any future proposals will be considered by relevant agencies as part of a whole of government approach and with full community consultation.

This incident has not been one of the Department’s finer moments, however the experience has seen new inter-agency protocols implemented to ensure it will not happen again,” Mr Gay said.

The recommendations have been a catalyst to push ahead with plans to revitalise the maritime division as part of ongoing RMS reform to focus on better service delivery.

These changes will help streamline relevant processes and procedures, including public consultation periods and internal escalations.

The report is available at: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/about/access-to-information/sydney-harbour-heliport-review-2013.pdf

Media: Lance Northey 0467 743 192 Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976

View the original media release: Helicopter review now online (PDF)

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