By Abbey Cannan
The Noosa Council seems to have heard loud and clear that the Noosa community wants more information on the proposed flight paths for the Sunshine Coast Airport, as there is a report regarding the proposed flight paths changes in Thursday’s (18 April) Council Meeting.
This action comes after a petition, that was started by community member Annie Hart, gained 960 signatures, requesting the Noosa Council to help advocate on behalf of the community regarding issues with the proposed flight paths for the Sunshine Coast Airport.
Mayor Tony Wellington said Councillors have been briefed by Airservices Australia staff to clarify details on behalf of residents concerned about the proposed flight paths.
“Noosa Council, as a local government, has no regulatory authority in this issue. However, it is clearly a significant concern for our residents near flight paths,” he said.
“At Thursday’s Ordinary Meeting, Councillors will weigh up the facts to determine whether a submission might be made by Council on behalf of the community.”
The Mayor said it was important for residents to get credible information and to make a submission so that all concerns are recorded during the consultation process.
“The primary public consultation on this matter by Sunshine Coast Council occurred during 2014 and 2015 in relation to the Environmental Impact Statement. This new consultation results from some minor changes to the flight paths that were proposed in that original EIS process. The main focus is thus likely to be on those changes, not on a complete redesign of all flight paths.
“There is certainly some apprehension in the community and we are calling on Airservices Australia to go the extra mile to provide detailed answers about the proposed changes and to listen to community concerns.”
The report on the proposed flight paths can be found in the Ordinary Meeting Agenda (April 18) on Council’s website at www.noosa.qld.gov.au/meetings-minutes.
The Risks and Opportunities section of the report states, “There is an opportunity for Council to support our residents by raising concerns with Airservices Australia in relation to noise issues that may arise from the proposed flight paths. While it is likely that there will be some flights that take place over our Shire, we can provide a submission to Airservices Australia that seeks to ameliorate the impact on Noosa residents. It is highly unlikely that that Airservices Australia will shift the proposed flight paths in any significant way for operational and safety reasons. Even if that was to occur, there is a risk that a shift in the proposed flight paths will affect other residents in another part of the Shire.”
The petition that gained momentum on this issue was created by Annie Hart and stated, “The proposed new flight paths of the Sunshine Coast Airport have the potential to significantly impact on the lifestyle, environment, property values and the image of the Noosa Shire. We are concerned that the reasons that we have chosen to live in Noosa will be compromised.”
The petition is requesting the Noosa Shire Council to advocate on behalf of impacted families and communities by:
“1. Seeking a one month extension of the feedback submission period to the 31st of May 2019 from Sunshine Coast Regional Council and Airservices Australia. The current timeframe is insufficient to properly consider and prepare submissions on the complex Environmental Impact Statement, its associated documents and information.”
“2. Preparing a comprehensive Council submission into the impacts on the lifestyle, environment, property values and the image of the Noosa Shire as of result of the proposed flight paths.”
“3. Requesting Sunshine Coast Regional Council to conduct an EIS for Lake Weyba, Noosa Nationals Parks, and Coastal Dunes of Castaways and Marcus Beach as the current EIS did not consider this.”
“4. Work with Sunshine Coast Regional Council to investigate new flight paths north of the project area to minimise environmental and social impacts.”
The community engagement for the proposed flight paths is being run by Sunshine Coast Council, Sunshine Coast Airport and Airservices Australia. All feedback will be compiled and considered by Airservices Australia in finalising the airspace and flight path design. Submissions close 30 April 2019 and community members can make a submission to Airservices either at a consultation session, or online at https://feedback.emsbk.com/ asa.
Link to petition on change.org: https://www.change.org/p/noosa-shire-council-noosa-council-we-need-your-help-with-the-proposed-flight-paths-proposal?recruiter=941230894&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=share_petition&fbclid=IwAR3-tW03ExG8l41wllScFgolM1bEWru9qwMn5Alpq1_ubgjOMLVT7PAY8Ik.