Tweed residents under or near the Gold Coast Airport flight path fear a review of existing curfews will lead to more night flights and are calling on the government to rule them out.
Fresh on the heels of federal approval for the airport’s controversial runway expansion into the Cobaki wetlands across the border in NSW, the news of the review has taken many by surprise.
Greens candidate for the federal seat of Richmond, Dawn Walker, says community groups are concerned that lifting the curfew will bring more noise from increased night use of the airport.
Ms Walker said locals were suspicious about the intentions of the curfew review, given the proposed destruction of the ecologically-sensitive NSW wetland to make way for the runway expansion and a new landing system.
‘Since approving the controversial Project Lift and ILS expansion into NSW Crown land, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has now announced it is conducting an internal review of airport curfew administration arrangements at the Gold Coast Airport,’ she said.
‘The review will “examine opportunities for increasing industry productivity through refinements to current regulatory controls and administrative arrangements”, and is expected to be completed by June.
‘I’m concerned to see that on top of the unwanted runway expansion into sensitive wetlands, the Gold Coast Airport curfew arrangements are now under review.
‘This curfew review was not mentioned at last week’s Aircraft Noise Abatement Consultative Committee. (see http://goldcoastairport.com.au/anacc/)
‘You have to question the Gold Coast Airport’s commitment to consulting the community when this curfew review was not mentioned at last week’s Aircraft Noise Abatement Consultative Committee which is attended by community representatives from the Tweed and Gold Coast.
‘When the previous federal government approved the Gold Coast Airport’s current master plan, the airport was told to communicate more in relation to aircraft noise and environmental issues.
‘This hasn’t happened. Instead we’ve had secrecy.
‘Current airport expansion plans are paving the way for louder, lower planes over the Tweed and to lose the night curfew would be a devastating blow to the community.
‘The Tweed community calls on the government and the Gold Coast Airport to explain the true intentions of the review, and to rule out any increase in night flying,’ Ms Walker said.