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Byron Shire
September 28, 2022

Aircraft or koalas?

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Byron Shire Council has informed residents, albeit a bit late, of ‘ Vegetation work to be undertaken at Tyagarah airstrip in late November will see more than 500 trees planted near the airfield and 72 trees and shrubs pruned as part of routine maintenance works to make sure the aerodrome is safe for the people who use it’ (directly from council newsletter, mistakes included).

This ‘work’ is primarily for the benefit of a single publicly-listed multinational corporation that is not even based in Byron Shire, (Wollongong I am lead to believe) making profits off the back of Byron’s image.

Yet the council staff do not see it as essential to negotiate a Fly Neighbourly Agreement (FNA) in order to assure quality of life for the residents which is free from extensive small aircraft noise pollution.

FNAs have been negotiated for unlicensed and unregistered aerodromes elsewhere in Australia and staff suggesting otherwise is just not true. Nearby examples include Casino, Evans Head and Southport. The total cost of the winning tender for a FNA was only $13,505 (GST inclusive).

The council also do not see it as necessary for the airfield to be financially viable. Last figures on the lease on Tyagarah Airfield is $36,000. Yes it is astounding. Just  a few of us could take out the lease on the air strip and only give rights to fly to the small aircraft local guys who have been there for years and be done with it.

This would save all those rate dollars keeping the airstrip safe for whom exactly? And at the same time the koalas get to keep their trees free from being ‘pruned’.

Everyone wins.

Susana Gardavsky, Myocum


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  1. OH dear susana what can I say, The trees are too tall too short & the new trees will provide koala feed into the future. I mean If I was to operate my ultralight from Tyagarah I wouldn’t want a 100 foot gum tree at either end of the runway. The last time you were on here was to complain about aircraft noise & frequency of operation I don’t think much has changed just a different complaint for the same objective, Do you want to ruin aviation for the few locals that use Tyagarah? Do you have a lease or option on a piece of turf that you want to start up as a new airfield? or you just don’t like little planes flying overhead?

    • Bulldog, you seem to have an interest, so have I. This small planes you are referring to are not that small, but large planes with lots of tourists inside. This planes are not from nor for locals and only line the pockets of a corporation at the expense of the locals, including the Koalas. Susanna is right on to bring attention to this growing problem.

      • I have just seen this article and am gobsmacked by the ignorance surrounding both the issues. Vis. Koala management and aircraft noise.
        My past life is in both aviation and koala preservation so I feel quite okay to say that. Here we have a aituation where nothing is understood on either issue but lots of noise is being made. I respectfully ask that anyone wishing to make a comment do some research before opening mouth to insert foot.
        Both can co exist at Tyagarah without community angst.


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