Editorial: Enough of the Emergency Spin!

Filed in Just In, Opinions by November 7, 2019

WHEN the Upper Hunter Shire Council claimed if the airport was not certified by August 2020 key emergency services would not be able to service Scone, I questioned the claim and went straight to the key services to clarify. See story: Council’s Critical Emergency Claims Challenged.

It turns out they were not aware of Council’s claims and were keen to set the record straight that they will still service the Scone area, regardless of the certification of Scone airport.

Elizabeth Flaherty, editor of scone.com.au. Photo: Amanda Gaffney-Ray.

So imagine my surprise when the Upper Hunter Shire Council send a media release today excited to announce a DA was approved and still included the line:

“The upgrade will allow for the future growth of airport activities including emergency services and business operations. The airport supports the equine, mining, farming, tourism and other industries and provides lifesaving aviation emergency services including Air Ambulance, Westpac Helicopter, Child Flight, Rural Fire Service and NSW Police.”

Enough of the spin!

And the airport does not “provide” lifesaving aviation – the services do and the services have assured me they are not reliant on the airport being certified.

I emailed Council back to ask if the services they mentioned had approved of their inclusion in their media release and offered to go back to them again to clarify, which was met with radio silence.

At best it is scaremongering, at worst it is an outright lie and they are exploiting the good names of our emergency services.

And the problem with lies is, they are like rabbits, for every rabbit you see there are 50 you don’t.

We’ll be interested to see what appears in the flight data.

I don’t take kindly to a source lying to a journalist, because it means they are using you to lie to your readers and that I won’t have. 

If the Council feel the airport has a strong business model and can stand on its own merit, why are they resorting to spin, scaremongering and lies?

I’ve formally requested 12 months of records for landings at the Scone Regional Airport to qualify their claim that there is an average of two critical emergency service landings a day.

They are legally required to provide me with the information and they have until the deadline of Tuesday under the legislation.

I have a hunch I know what I will find with the flight data…..

UPDATE: Emergency Services: Council’s Creative Counting.

 

 

Elizabeth Flaherty
Editor, scone.com.au

Related stories: Scone Airport Development.

 

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