SAFA Skysailor Magazine

6 SKY SAILOR September | October 2021 by Paul Green Our need for a sustainable future As all members in all disciplines know, our sports cannot exist without locations from which to conduct operations. Overwhelmingly, we’re dependent on the goodwill of land- owners for access to sites. This includes some private landowners, but by far, the majority are made up of various National/State Parks & Wildlife bodies and local government councils. Site locations have been under increasing pressure due to population growth and demands for access and usage rights to public resources by a growing variety of other inter- est groups. In some cases, changes to airspace usage have resulted in conditions that either exclude or inhibit our capacity to continue to operate as we have in the past. Council permits and leases are progressively becoming increasingly restrictive, and scrutiny of our behaviours is becoming more focussed. We also see regular complaints about our operations when others perceive their rights being impinged. Resident privacy concerns are chief among these, and addressing perceived breaches has resulted in some serious  challenges for our hard-working volunteers. Landowners are key strategic stakeholders in our sport and its various disciplines. It’s essential that we actively manage these relationships, wherever they occur, to ensure our needs are well understood and accepted. This is not just a SAFA ‘thing’ or a discipline thing – it’s a SAFA/regional association/club/ entire membership thing. We need to be vigilant because the challenge to retain access to shared but finite public resources is only likely to increase over time. Establishing and maintaining productive relationships with key landowner stakeholders is essential for our present and our future.  And other issues come into the mix. Member numbers have remained reason- President’s Update