Flight path consultation is botched: Noosa mayor
RESIDENTS in suburbs affected by proposed new flight paths for the expanded Sunshine Coast Airport had little chance of seeing public notices advertising the consultation process, according to Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington.
"The Sunshine Coast Council and Airservices Australia appear unwilling to admit that the recent consultation process was flawed,” Cr Wellington said.
"One glaring example in particular shows that it was either deliberately or inadvertently botched.
"As ASA's own documents show, the target consultation area was the northern part of Noosa including Tinbeerwah, Cooroy, Pomona, Lake Macdonald and Tewantin.
"Yet the advertising for the consultation occurred in newspapers distributed south of Noosa, in Buderim, Nambour, Coolum and even Caloundra.
"Incredibly, none of the three papers widely distributed in the target area - the Noosa News, Noosa Today and Cooroy Rag - were used for public notification.”
Cr Wellington attended a meeting on Friday, organised by Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien, which included state politicians Sandy Bolton and Dan Purdie, plus representatives from Noosa and Sunshine Coast councils, Airservices Australia and resident group Flight Path Forum.
"Although nothing concrete was achieved, the four Flight Path Forum representatives performed extremely well, clearly demonstrating their grasp of the complex issues under scrutiny,” he said.
"The good news is that they were heard and the whole debate was very respectful.”
Cr Wellington said Noosa Council would continue to lobby for better consultation and more engagement with impacted residents.
"What is very clear is that the Sunshine Coast Council believes that the original EIS process was sufficient to deliver information to residents,” he said.
"I pointed out that there has been considerable turnover in residents since the EIS, and thus 30-40 per cent of affected residents would not have been living here at the time of the EIS process.
"For those hundreds of residents, the whole flight path issue is thus new, and somewhat surprising.”