[First filed: February 19, 2009 @ 08:51]
Earlier in the week we had widespread complaints about the independent schools rowing regatta and its appalling organisation which created widespread conflict between the well heeled rowers parents and every other user of the lake shore.
A lot of you found this curious at the time as the lake was supposed to be closed to public use due to health concerns around blue green algae.
There was some mumbling about exemptions, which is curious as a permit rarely mitigates health risks.
On 666 this morning the NCA Chief Executive, Gary Rake, has put the lie to this, he even went so far as to go down to the lake on Sunday morning to beg them to not put the kids in the water.
Independent schools and rowing officials are bunkering down and refusing to comment.
UPDATE: The ABC news report on this is now online:
- “We’ve never in the history of events of water events on Lake Burley Griffin had an event organiser that’s refused, and ignored safety advice.”
If you’re a participant who got sick (or one of their parents) we’d love to hear from you.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Well I’ve heard now of at least one girl reportedly developing a nasty rash on the arm since the weekend.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Canberra Times now brings word that the schools did in fact have permission from the NCA to go ahead, permission the CEO Gary Rake was apparently ignorant of when he went down to the lakeside to wave his arms and then splash himself across the media.
- The NCA verified yesterday that an email had been sent by a junior staff member to the Canberra Grammar School, which had been nominated as the convener of this year’s regatta, reiterating that it had issued primary- and secondary-level warnings in relation to algae in the lake and advising against any swimming or boating activities. But the email also said that the regatta could proceed based on the precautions that would be in place, including providing fresh water to douse any students who became immersed, and having medical staff on hand. This was forwarded to the rowing association, and referred to in advice given to other schools.
So on that basis I’d like to apologise to the rowers and schools involved.