Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, and the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, today visited RAAF Base Williamtown and Raymond Terrace to raise concerns about the development of 153 Richardson Road, Raymond Terrace.
Port Stephens Council has recently approved a development application for the land.
"Defence releases Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) maps to provide the best available information for decision making by councils when considering developments,” Senator Feeney said.
“The Council has seemingly chosen to totally ignore these maps and to develop this land for residential use.
“Of the 53 lots, 43 of them are within the 25-30 ANEF contour, making them totally unacceptable for residential housing according to our own Australian Standard AS2021.
“Of the remaining ten lots, they sit within the 20-25 ANEF contour, which is considered only conditionally acceptable and will require sound proofing.
“When Councils disregard the ANEF and the Australian Standards it exposes people to aircraft noise that could have been avoided. RAAF Base Williamtown isn’t going anywhere - any future development inside the ANEF exposes new people to totally avoidable aircraft noise.
“Our aircraft will continue to fly and will continue to make noise, no matter how much we try to minimise that. Flying aircraft is an essential part of having a Royal Australian Air Force that defends our nation. Aircraft noise is here to stay and approving this land for subdivision totally ignores this fact.
“This decision also comes on the back of the considerable consultation that has gone on with both the Council and community groups prior to the Williamtown ANEF release. This consultation was to ensure the future predicted noise exposure, including from the F-35A (Joint Strike Fighter) was understood,” Senator Feeney said.
Air Marshal Brown also noted problems with the approval of the development application.
"RAAF Base Williamtown is a strategic base for our national security and undertakes vital work training the next generation of air combat pilots,” Air Marshal Brown said.
“RAAF Base Williamtown needs to be protected against urban encroachment, so the men and women of Air Force can continue their essential duties.
“Aircraft noise will never be eliminated. However Air Force has implemented ‘fly neighbourly’ procedures to reduce aircraft noise impacts for existing properties. Developing properties within the ANEF zones, will further constrain the already limited opportunities for Air Force to mitigate aircraft noise impacts, both now and in the future.”
ANEF maps are a forecast of noise impacts that will be created in the future years. The RAAF Base Williamtown 2025 ANEF predicts aircraft noise in the year 2025 made by both civilian and military aircraft at RAAF Base Williamtown and Salt Ash Air Weapons Range. Town Councils should use the ANEF and apply Australian Standard 2021 – 2000 when considering development applications.
Further information can be found at the following link: http://www.defence.gov.au/header/publications.htm#R
RAAF Base Williamtown ANEF:
Australian Standard 2021-2000 for building site acceptability based on ANEF Zones:
Senator Feeney’s office: Jeffrey Von Drehnen 0477 348 476
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999