Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Repeal Bill has passed

Overlooking the airport at Warnervale

The Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Repeal Bill has passed the NSW Legislative Assembly, paving the way for the removal of restraints at Warnervale aerodrome.

The Repeal Bill will now proceed through a Parliamentary Committee process and will be considered by the Legislative Council (Upper House) on November 16.

An Inquiry by the Committee, comprising members of various political parties, including the Central Coast’s Taylor Martin MLC, will include a public hearing into the Bill on October 30.

“I strongly encourage locals to make their views known for consideration by Members of the Upper House Inquiry,” Martin said.

Interested parties are invited to have their say by completing an online questionnaire, which is open until October 23, at parliament.nsw.gov.au/…/inquiry-details…

Chair of the Committee, Cate Faehrmann MLC, said the Government had made its case for repealing the Act in the Assembly, arguing that it is no longer relevant or necessary in allaying community concerns about the airport’s operations and noting the economic impact of the take-off and landing cap triggered in 2015.

“This Inquiry is an opportunity to test the Government’s case and subject the Bill’s provisions to an appropriate level of scrutiny through our Committee process,” Faehrmann said.

“This Inquiry will also be an opportunity to consider potential issues with the Bill, such as community concerns surrounding the airport’s operations, including potential noise impacts and the liveability of the local area as well as broader environmental considerations,” she said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said 75 percent of the community supported repealing the Act.

“The recent Review found that the Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act is unnecessary, overly complex and difficult to administer,” Crouch said.

“The NSW Government is committed to repealing this Act to better support the Central Coast Aero Club, medical evacuations and bushfire emergency responses.

“The Repeal Bill was passed by the Legislative Assembly this week and I thank Labor for supporting its passage.

“I call on Central Coast Labor Councillors to provide this same level of support to the airport and Central Coast Aero Club.”

The Review’s final report made three recommendations, the first being that the Act should be repealed as soon as possible, but if there was a delay, the airport flight restrictions should be removed immediately.

The two other recommendations were that Central Coast Council, as the airport’s owner and operator, should adopt a clear framework to govern the airport’s future management, and address safety issues affecting the runway.

Crouch said Council urgently needs to implement the Review’s recommendation to trim the trees on the approach flight path to the landing strip.

“It has been more than 80 days since the Warnervale Airport Review was published, but in this time, there has been no progress towards addressing the significant safety issues,” he said.

“The height of the trees and their proximity to the runway has been evaluated by Council’s own risk assessment process as a catastrophic danger.

“Dozens of aviation trainers and students use the runway every day, as well as medical evacuations and bushfire emergency responses, and their safety must be prioritised,” Crouch said.

Sue Murray

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