Wednesday 5 November 2008

Cairns Ports investigating safety incident

A very concerning and serious breach of safety occurred on during one of the last protest actions at the old Yacht Club building.

This occurred the morning when Cairns Regional Councillor, Dianne Forsyth made a sit-in protest on the roof, attracting national media attention. This was the sixth successful breach of security, following the Port Authority installation of 24 hour security guards on the property. Seems like they didn't do a very good job.

Cairns Ports Security and Emergency Manager, David Good has acknowledged he's in receipt of a formal complaint, considered to be an unsafe act that occurred just after 7am on Monday 13th October.

For the record, Mr Good called the site 'the former Cairns Yacht Club building removal and demolition site.' They knew what they were doing there, and it wasn't saving the old girl.

The dangerous action carried out by a security guard, as we used a high-rise ladder to get Dianne Forsyth onto the roof.

The action to get the Councillor on the roof, was planned three weeks in advance, with safety for those participating, utmost in our minds. Bryan was the Diversion Team Leader. Mark was the Human Shield Team leader, and I was appointed Safety Team co-ordinator.


    At 7.10 am on Monday 13 October 2008, Cairns Regional Councillor Di Forsyth made an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the demolition of Cairns’ historic Yacht Club building at No 4 Wharf Street, Cairns.

    I (Michael Moore) was the designated Safety Co-ordinator for the action. This involved in ensuring that the Councillor maintained a high degree of safety and security during her climb. Councillor Forsyth climbed a ladder onto the north western roof of the Yacht Club building.

    Councillor Forsyth wore a hard hat, a safety harness, and safety rope, to enable the exercise was carried out with due care for her protection. Our Safety team consisted of three people, whose role it was to secure and raise the ladder alongside the building, and hold it securely in place. I climbed the ladder first, with a seating platform. I was to place this platform on the roof frame, to allow a safe place for Councillor Forsyth to be seated.

    As I was climbing the ladder, I felt it move away from the side on the building. I became alarmed, and immediately felt in grave danger. I was some two meters above the concrete laneway (between the Hilton Hotel and the Yacht Club building), on the ladder, when I felt the ladder move. I was surprised that the ladder was moving, when it was being stabilized by two people on the ground level.
    I looked to see what was causing the ladder to move away from the side of the building.

    I saw a Security Guard at the louvered window, close to the top of the ladder. The Security Guard had a hold of the ladder with his right hand, through the louvered windows. He was attempting to push the ladder away from the building, and to my right. The movement of the ladder was such that I felt the ladder was going to topple, and I would fall to the ground and be injured.

    At this point, the language from this security guard was foul and offensive, and he continued to move push the ladder away from the side of the building. He used words such as "Fuck off" etc. He was extremely aggressive in his manner, and at the same time, forceful to the point of violence in his actions.

    As a result of the security guard's actions, a louver glass window was broken and fell to the ground, adjacent to where a large number of supporters were standing. Immediately after the glass broke, the security guard backed away from the window.

  • I overcame my fear, and decided I could rely upon the people securing the ladder on the ground, now that it was unhindered.
    I continued to scale the ladder, holding the seating platform with one hand, to the roof line. I placed the seating platform successfully on the roof frame. I made a second trip up the ladder to secure a safety rope.

    Following this, Cr Diane Forsyth successfully climbed ladder and positioned herself safety and securely on the roof of the Cairns Yacht Club building.
Cairns Ports Security and Emergency Manager, David Good has completed his investigation into the incident.

"The report is sitting with the Operations Manager, Michael Barnett as it requires his input before being signed off by the General Manager," David Good said.

Unfortunately Barnett is currently at the Fort Lauderdale boat show representing the Super Yacht Cluster and will be back at work next week.

"It will be at least a week until it gets to the General Manager," David Good said.

We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, keep a lookout for a man in a yellow raincoat with glasses. Approach with caution.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope the complaint goes in the Bin ... You have to be joking!