Tyagarah Airstrip

Madeleine Green, Myocum

At a meeting with Council at the end of last year Skydive Australia told us that they had bought two big new buses and a bigger plane, so that they could transport all their clients from Surfers Paradise down to Tyagarah Airstrip, fly them up to parachute over Byron, then bus them straight back to Surfers.

The economic, social, environmental, cultural benefit to the residents of Byron? Nil.

Aggravation to residents, livestock, wildlife living within 5km radius of Tyagarah Airstrip? Major.

Skydive accounts for 85 per cent of airstrip usage. The rest is from a handful of local plane and balloon pilots who flout height restrictions, create more noise that a gang of Harleys flying over your house, and create the same level of aggravation to residents.

Our rates go to managing that airstrip, with no economic return for the community, but major benefits to Skydive and a very small elite group of people who own a plane or a balloon.

I’d rather my rates went to making our roads safer.

Ballina Airport is apparently expanding… let’s close Tyagarah Airstrip and shuffle the current users down there, to a very regulated zone where they will have to adhere to the rules that they have no hesitancy in flouting here. And maybe we can then use that large flat cleared area for something that benefits the whole community.

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