News

Noosa North Shore airport fear from labelled draft plan

GREATER commercial aircraft operations on Noosa North Shore could be cleared for take-off under the new draft Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.

Noosa-based town planning consultant Paul Summers believes a crucial yellow aircraft symbol marked Teewah Airstrip on three strategic framework maps would override any other planning designation for a recreational open-space area.

Mr Summers, Noosa Parks Association and member for Noosa Glen Elmes want to see the landing reserve added to national park.

Their preferred option is to see ongoing community use by ultralights and model aircraft users allowed in a newly declared environmental reserve.

NPA has questioned the validity of a 2009 landing ground management plan, which allows for more than 50 helicopter training flights at the airstrip a week.

Mr Summers said the use of the symbols on the land-use elements map, the economic development map and the transport elements map could see an alarming intensification of air usage.

"The Teewah landing ground, referenced as the Teewah Airstrip in the draft plan, is given recognition at the highest plane in the plan's strategic framework," Mr Summers said.

"Unless this aspect of the draft plan is abandoned by the SCRC, not only will commercial and military helicopter training operations be able to escalate the door will be wide open for other commercial and military aviation functions.

"This is a radical departure from 30 years of Noosa community and former Noosa Council activism, which sought to close commercial aviation on the Noosa North Shore and to transfer the historic Teewah landing ground to national park."

Mr Summers said in the draft, now open for public comment, planning priority was given to Teewah Airstrip along with the Sunshine Coast Airport, Caloundra Aerodrome and a "possible future aerodrome".

"Each of these is given Sunshine Coast-wide land use, economic and transport importance, with lifestyle and environmental considerations secondary, if at all," Mr Summers said.

"No other landing ground or airstrip is given as high a priority in the former Noosa shire and, as such, it sits above the former Noosa Airport and every other landing ground in the former shire.

"The community needs to rail against this outcome and seek that the strategic framework is amended to delete all reference to the Teewah Airstrip," he said.

NPA spokesman Dr Michael Gloster fears this planning priority threatens Noosa again with a possible airport venture.

"Thirty years ago Noosa Parks Association led an intense community struggle against Noosa council and developer Leisuremark's plans for a jet airport on Noosa North Shore," Dr Gloster said.

"Now, courtesy of the Sunshine Coast Council, we have a draft town plan that once again encourages a Noosa North Shore airport for jets and helicopters."

Dr Gloster believes the planning intent threatens a long-standing arrangement that has worked to the benefit of the local community.

"The hard won 20 plus year post-Leisuremark consensus between successive state governments and Noosa councils, that the historic World War II Landing Ground on Noosa North Shore be transferred to national park, has been trashed," he said.

"Once again the Noosa community will need to fight smart to stop this Sunshine Coast Council planning blunder.

"The first step is that individuals and organisations will need to lodge a formal objection to this part of the draft plan with the Sunshine Coast Council and, to this end, NPA and other like-minded community organisations will be offering assistance in the weeks ahead."

Topics:  conservation, noosa lifestyle, teewah airstrip




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