The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, today announced a new Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) for the Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown and Salt Ash Air Weapons Range.
“This new ANEF significantly reduces the impact of previous noise forecasts for hundreds of residents. It also provides greater financial certainty to local residents by reducing the number of noise affected properties in the region,” Senator Feeney said.
“Many residents in the Port Stephens area will experience less noise with the F-35A, commonly known as the Joint Strike Fighter, than with the current F/A-18 Hornets.
“RAAF Williamtown has a long history in this area and contributes approximately
$1 billion and more than 5000 jobs to the local economy.
“The F-35A Lightning II will be based at Williamtown, further boosting the Newcastle and Hunter economies,” Senator Feeney said.
Senator Feeney emphasised that: “Defence is making every effort to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the local community and give certainty to local residents.”
“This is why Defence has recently developed new departure and arrival flight profiles and new strafe profiles for use at Salt Ash Air Weapons Range to reduce aircraft noise in the Port Stephens area,” Senator Feeney said.
“The modifications to planned flying profiles and updated data from the United States, have allowed Defence to create a new ANEF which will reduce the number of properties in the Williamtown community that are affected by the ANEF map.
“Aircraft noise will never be eliminated at Williamtown, but Defence is doing everything it can to minimise the impact,” Senator Feeney said.
ANEF maps are planning tools used at each airfield in Australia.
They are designed to help councils determine appropriate developments and whether noise attenuation such as insulation and double glazing is required by homeowners for new developments.
“Providing accurate information to the community is critical to increasing certainty about what impact the F-35A will have.
“Defence has continually provided the latest and best quality information available to the Williamtown community,” Senator Feeney said.
The RAAF Base Williamtown and Salt Ash Air Weapons Range 2025 ANEF (10 August 2011) will be available at 6:00 pm today at http://www.defence.gov.au/id/anef_williamtown.htm
Media Contact: Lorna Clarke – 0408 345 730