APART from exposure to unacceptable levels of dust and toxic fumes from Newcastle port, inner-city residents, visitors and workers also have to live with a 24-hour port-operated helicopter.
Unlike emergency service helicopters, this operation is a purely commercial operation and yet appears to be able to operate without regard for EPA and other noise-prevention legislation.
Residents of Newcastle and neighbouring suburbs are constantly being woken at night by this low-flying helicopter operating out of Dyke Point.
Surely there are other locations available to the Port – such as the old BHP site, that will allow the helicopter to operate effectively with minimal disturbance to residents.
We have everything in the Newcastle CBD, Newcastle West and Carrington to accommodate ‘‘clean’’ business and, although progress is obvious, there is still a long way to go before Newcastle can proudly show the world that it is a clean and desirable place to live and work.
This can be achieved in unison with industry, but there needs to be flexibility on both sides, and perhaps a good start would be to relocate the helipad.