Australia can
lay claim to having its share of “out there” thinkers, and by his own
admission Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke is a fully paid up member of the lateral
thinkers society. And following a trip to Japan, he’s just revealed his latest brainwave.

While in Japan he was shown mini, remote-controlled helicopters
dropping fertiliser on rice paddies. This is a far better method than
crushing their crops while performing the task. And as soon as the
colourful mayor saw these $100,000 machines being put through their
paces, a bright light went on.

As he asks in today’s Gold Coast Bulletin, why
can’t these gadgets be adapted to carry out rapid deployment surf rescues given
they only take ten seconds to be in the air? Fitted
with a deliverable or droppable flotation device, he believes they could be an
invaluable life-saving tool to act as an interim rescuer for distressed swimmers
until a life saver can get to the victim. They come
with on-board cameras so could also be used to spot sharks and

The mayor says
he realises this is “out there,” but “that’s what I do. I come out
of left field all the time.” He told Crikey today that the idea might seem wacky to some, but he
believes it’s part of the role he was elected to do – to think outside the
square and not be put off by the sceptics.

As for exporting the concept to Bondi, it would not only be a
potential life saver, but also a great sponsorship gimmick. And while
Clarke says he’s even prepared to pay for one out of his own pocket if
necessary to evaluate its effectiveness, we think we already have the
perfect sponsorship partner.

Aussie Home Loans
– “we’ll save ya!”

Peter Fray

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