You may be aware of the eternal wrangling surrounding the Council-owned Warnervale ‘Airport’ issue. It has been thirty years since the former Wyong Shire Council first dreamt up One of several grandiose schemes to turn the very modest airfield (officially an Aircraft Landing Area) at Warnervale into a major airport. The problem then, as it remains to date, is that none of the schemes were ever going to ‘take off’.
Firstly, this airfield is significantly constrained by the adjacent Porters Creek wetland to the South, a protected fauna Corridor to the North as well as a major road on the Northern boundary (Sparks Road).
Secondly, there is no plausible business case for expansion into even a modest aerodrome with limited and non-regular passenger services – the costs to Council Would be substantial, the investment returns improbable, and only a minimal number of jobs generated.
Importantly, since the airfield was established, urban development has begun to reach the vicinity of the airfield. Urban development in close proximity means that today thousands of families would be affected by the noise generated by an increase in air traffic. As there is known planning for further urban development nearby, even more people stand to be affected in the years to come.
Please note that the Warnervale airfield returns an annual loss of upwards of $500.000 to Council.
Against this background, planning minister Rob Stokes has now decided it is time to repeal the Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act which capped the number of daily flights, restricted any runway extension and provided some certainty for residents and the future of the local environment.
His Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Repeal Bill has already passed the NSW Lower House without opposition from Wyong Labor MP David Harris, The Entrance Labor MP David Mehan and Gosford Labor MP Liesl Tesch.
But there is hope:
The Greens have resolved to oppose the repeal of the Act, and our MPs have secured an inquiry in the Upper House. They will be chairing the committee and the conduct of the inquiry.
What we are asking you to do:
You are welcome to start with the following suggested responses:
(Example) My first preference is to retain the existing Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act.
It has worked well, acknowledging that it severely constrains the current club and flying school under the currently heightened restrictions.
For my second preference, I would like to see a number of safeguards included in the Repeal Bill which would ensure that the local environment remains protected against the development of the airport and that any capacity for increased operations out of the airport remain limited to an acceptable level.
My third and final preference is for the Repeal Bill to include a pathway to the closure of this airport if it is likely to continue to impose a burden on our Council’s finances.
(Example) I question why it was desirable to bring a Repeal Bill when it may have been more practical to amend the existing Act, assuming that some updating and improvement to the Act was indeed required.
As a CC resident, I feel that the on-going problems with this airport need to come to an end. This issue has been very divisive and appears to have been driven by vested interests.
I am (strongly opposed to) (ambivalent) (not opposed to) the existing club and flying school continuing normal operations out of Warnervale at the current capacity.
It is essential to me that the local environment remains protected from any development at this airport.