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Speech – Adjournment Speech – Caloundra Aerodrome (1 September 2010)

Mr POWELL (Glass House—LNP) (9.34 pm): On 19 August, and as part of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s ongoing consideration of the Bligh Labor government’s demand that they fast-track development at Caloundra South, the council moved a motion. In the interests of time, let me share just part of it. It states—

That Council advise the State Government that it will retain operation of Caloundra Aerodrome in its current location until the State Government formally commits to the following:

•   a replacement aerodrome is constructed by December 2014, at Johnston Road as per Council’s Statement of Proposals and within the Glass House Mountain Protection Zone, at no cost to Council;

•   the replacement aerodrome at Johnston Road is managed and operated by Council;

•   the current Caloundra Aerodrome businesses and lessees are relocated at no cost to themselves or Council;

•   the existing Caloundra Aerodrome site is jointly structure planned by the State Government and Council to ensure outcomes as outlined in the adopted Sunshine Coast Statement of Proposals are achieved for the Caloundra Major Regional Activity Centre; and further that

•   the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning provides a commitment to the proposal including the conditions above within three months of today’s date.

Basically, the council is calling on the state government to answer one simple question: will it fund the Caloundra Aerodrome to move from its current location to a new site at Glass House Mountains? I would like to assist the government in answering that question. The only responsible answer is no. And here is why.

The Caloundra Aerodrome in its current location is home to a flourishing aviation focused business park and to the renowned Air Museum. Together these businesses employ some 225 workers. What is more, the residents of Caloundra, rather than being opposed to the aerodrome continuing in its current location, understand the benefits that come from having it based in the city. So much so that 5,000 of them signed a petition sponsored by the member for Caloundra, Mark McArdle, to that effect. If that is not sufficient evidence, let us turn to the proposed relocation site, east of the Bruce Highway, adjacent to Johnston Road at Glass House Mountains.

If we put aside for a moment concerns around the environmental impact of aviation services operating in this corridor—although they are worthy justifications in their own right—if we put aside concerns that this will undo any goodwill generated by the government in announcing an expansion of the Glass House Mountains National Park and the establishment of the Pumicestone National Park, let me offer one simple reason why the proposed site is inappropriate.

If it were to relocate to Johnston Road, it would be only 18 kilometres from the equally well-established Caboolture Aerodrome. It is madness to have two such aerodromes in such close proximity. The people of Johnston Road and the broader Glass House Mountains have let me know in no uncertain terms that the aerodrome is not welcome—95 per cent of respondents to a recent mail-out have sent me a clear message: keep the aerodrome where it is!

I think Ms Melinda Hesse sums it up best by saying, ‘If you buy in area with a pre-existing aerodrome like Caloundra you can’t complain, so there is no need to put one in a different area after the fact.’ For the sake of the existing businesses at the Caloundra Aerodrome and for the sake of the residents of Glass House Mountains, I ask the government to tell the council no.

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