23 C
Byron Shire
October 19, 2021

Labor helps block move for Gold Coast airport probe

Latest News

Big Rob: ‘no comment’

The 2021 NSW Local Government elections will be held on Saturday, 04 December, 2021. Candidates have until noon on...

Other News

Frustration over library closures as other businesses face opening dilemma

Tweed Shire Councillor James Owen (Liberal) has expressed frustration over the closure of Regional Tweed Library (RTL) network to the public until 1 December, particularly those in Murwillumbah, Tweed and Kingscliff. Similarly other businesses in the region are facing the same question of if opening up is worth the risks.

Bio-energy vs biodiversity

I thank The Echo for so clearly informing the readers of the ongoing concerns of Byron Bird Buddies and...

Did we underestimate the health effects of the Black Summer bushfires?

Study reveals the physical and mental impacts of bushfire smoke.

Bring your people together!

It’s time to bring people together! Wherever you might like to party, Event Byron Bay has you covered. From...

Stranded local artist shares stories from India

Vrinda Gleeson prepared for her new exhibition in a small London bedsit where she is living until she can return to her Northern Rivers home.

Covid Cassandra peers into the future

As the COVID lockdowns draw to a close, there are still people who profess themselves unwilling to vaccinate under any circumstances, and who object to bearing any consequences that may arise.

The Gold Coast airport expansion to accommodate the antiquated ILS will wipe out hectares of important wetland in NSW.
The Gold Coast airport expansion to accommodate the antiquated ILS will wipe out hectares of important wetland in NSW.

A move in the senate yesterday aimed at deferring the federal government’s controversial approval for an instrument landing system (ILS) for Coolangatta airport was blocked after Labor joined the coalition to defeat it.

The Greens motion follow the recent approval of the $10-million ILS which they say paves the way for the contentious extension of the airport runway into environmentally sensitive Crown land in NSW, on the Tweed side of the state border.

The approval has been described by the Greens as an ‘act of subterfuge’ that is all about the twice-defeated plans for a runway extension and are calling for a public inquiry into how public land was being transferred to the privately-run Gold Coast Airport for the expansion.

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon said ‘considering the problems that have been identified with the ILS installation it was very disappointing that Labor voted with the Nationals and Liberals to block this important Senate motion’.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot (Labor) failed to mention the Senate vote by her colleagues, when asked to comment by Echonetdaily. The Greens say Labor has  badly let down the Tweed community.

Mrs Elliot said in a brief statement this morning that she was ‘always happy to make direct representations to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss’ on the issue, ‘if anyone wants to raise any further issues regarding the airport’.

Senator Rhiannon said she shared the concerns of many locals about the potential for increased noise pollution that would result from a new flight path associated with the ILS.

‘The collusion between the Coalition parties and Labor will certainly add to the suspicions that the $10 million ILS could be cover for bigger development plans around this airport,’ she said.

Greens candidate for Richmond, Dawn Walker, said she was disappointment that Labor voted with the government in parliament ‘against residents opposed to the Gold Coast Airport runway extension’.

The motion called on the federal government to defer its approval of the ILS installation to allow an investigation to be held into the NSW Crown Land lease ‘and the availability of more cost effective and environmentally friendly technology’.

The full motion is that the Senate

a) Notes that

i) The Federal Government has approved an Instrument Landing System (ILS) for the Gold Coast Airport (GCA) at a cost of $10 million;
ii) Qantas Group head of safety and compliance Mark Cameron has written to former GCA chief operating officer David Collins stating Qantas does not support the ILS proposal, claiming it is not value for money and will likely be outdated technology;
iii) Residents from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise will experience more noise pollution due to a new flight path associated with the ILS, particularly if a runway extension results in larger aircraft flying over the Tweed;
iv) The former NSW deputy premier and NSW National Party leader Andrew Stoner granted the GCA an 84-year lease over the NSW Crown Reserve for Public Recreation/Conservation for any and all airport facilities including works associated with a runway extension (NSW Government Gazette No. 138, 18/10/13);
v) Under the Air Services Act, the ILS is exempt from any NSW land-use laws or regulations protecting the environmental assets of the Crown Reserve;
vi) Fishing industry representatives are concerned that the clearing of the Cobaki wetlands and saltmarsh required for the ILS would impact on Class 1 fish-breeding habitat; and
b) Calls for the Federal Government to defer its approval for the ILS installation to allow an investigation to be held into the NSW Crown Land lease and the availability of more cost effective and environmentally friendly technology.

For related Echonetdaily stories see:

Gold Coast Airport pollution ‘could have spread 20km’

Tweed District Residents & Ratepayers Association president Lindy Smith has accused Gold Coast Airport and Airservices Australia of ‘deliberately obfuscating’ over pollution from toxic firefighting foam that has leached into surface and groundwater around the airport.


Bid to stop Gold Coast airport works shot down

A bid by Tweed mayor Katie Milne calling on the federal and state governments to stop clearing and earthworks for the controversial instrument landing system at Gold Coast Airport was shot down last night.


Gold Coast Airport encroachment

Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads. A further incident of a near miss at Gold Coast Airport (GCA) to add to others in recent times must not be ignored.


Greens want details of airport’s toxic chemicals released

The Greens have stepped up their calls for action to deal with contamination at the Gold Coast Airport after a report from the US Environmental Protection Agency has added further concerns about toxic firefighting chemicals used at the site.


Hiding the facts behind airport’s landing system

Lindy Smith, Tweed Heads. Following the approval of Gold Coast Airport’s (GCA) Instrument Landing System (ILS), which secures a development footprint on the NSW Crown Reserve for Public Recreation/Conservation and new 18km flight path over the Gold Coast urban area, we now have confirmation of what GCA is really up to.




Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. ILS should have been installed at Coolangatta years ago. It is a safety issue. At present in bad weather planes are diverted to Brisbane because Coolangatta does not have ILS.
    Yes Coolangatta will progressively a more important international airport and yes, doh, the runway is too short to take some of the larger jets.
    We would all remember the Greens hysteria a few years back when the new highway underpass under the runway was built. There were claims acid sulphate soils disturbed would result in fish kills. It didn’t happen. It was never going to happen. Greens merely need to get some profile to try to be relevant. Pick up any issue. Make outlandish statements and try to get some attention. Sad but true. Probably why 90% of Australians don’t vote Greens?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 19 October, 2021

Check out what's on at the cinema this week in Ballina and Byron

Iona Herbs

Pam Morrow from Iona Herbs is a one-woman-show. She has spent her whole life growing herbs and produce on the Tyagarah property where she...

The Great Reopening

S Haslam What a time to go out in Byron – easy to park and, for the shy retiring types like myself, a less frantic...

Bring your people together!

It’s time to bring people together! Wherever you might like to party, Event Byron Bay has you covered. From dining table set-ups to the...