Council calls for halt to construction at Gold Coast Airport
TWEED Shire Council is demanding Gold Coast Airport stop the installation of the Instrument Landing System immediately as questions arise over damaging earthworks.
Councillors met for an extraordinary meeting in Murwillumbah on Monday after Mayor Katie Milne raised concerns about whether the GCA had conducted works "over and above the footprint” of 300m from Runway 14 stated in the ILS Major Development Plan.
Councillors Chris Cherry and Ron Cooper voted in favour with the mayor to write to the federal and state governments over the council's concern that works had been made at 450m from the end of Runway 14, which is on NSW Crown Land.
Deputy mayor Chris Cherry told the Tweed Daily News the council wanted to have the issue investigated immediately as they feared the GCA was pushing the limit with their runway plans.
"These works are still happening, the environmental damage is still occurring,” Cr Cherry said.
"The key problem is (the extra 150m) matches exactly the footprint of the runway extension of the master development plan which was rejected by council.
"Although they're saying there will be no runway extension, it appears it is a runway extension by stealth.
"There has been a problem with the process. It appears it's under nobody's jurisdiction.”
Cr Cherry said the council was determined to protect the interests of residents near the airport who could be impacted by a possible runway extension.
"Council has had a long history of opposing this runway extension since 1999, it's nothing new what we're doing here,” she said.
The councillors concerns followed questions raised during Community Access on August 17 when Tweed District Residents and Ratepayers' Association president Lindy Smith told the council she had found evidence that the earthworks associated with the ILS on the NSW Crown Reserve had shown complete disregard for the endangered ecological area.
"The ILS has very serious legality questions,” Ms Smith said.
GCA chief operating officer Marion Charlton said in a statement on Friday the ILS was expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and operating by 2019.
Labor councillor Reece Byrnes voted against the motion. Councillors James Owen, Warren Polglase and Pryce Allsop were absent from the meeting.
The Tweed Daily news has contacted GCA for comment and is waiting for a response.