Tweed Crown Land at risk from potential Gold Coast Airport expansion

North Coast Greens MP and Crown Lands spokesperson Jan Barham has raised concerns about the transfer of a Tweed Crown Reserve that appears to be left with inadequate safeguards against destruction to allow an extension of the Gold Coast Airport runway.

“I’ve asked several questions in Parliament during the past week regarding a NSW Crown Reserve that has been transferred to Gold Coast Airport,” Ms Barham said.

“I’m concerned that the NSW Government has exposed the land to inadequate protection from the impact of development work at the site, including the possible extension of the runway.

“Last week when the Minister for Lands answered my question about the lack of consultation and safeguards before the lease was transferred, he referred to the current public consultation about the proposed installation of an Instrument Landing System and said there would be a subsequent approval process.

“But the airport’s own Preliminary Draft Major Development Plan makes clear that the approval process only relates to work being undertaken on the Commonwealth airport land, not the NSW Crown Reserve.

“This week I asked whether there will be any environmental planning and approval process for any work being conducted on the NSW Crown land, but the Minister wasn’t able to provide any assurance.

Ms Barham warned that the transfer of the Crown Reserve appeared to be part of an overall plan by the airport for extension of the runway that would involve the clearing of significant lands.

“It appears that the Minister is unaware of the plans of the airport to seek an extension of the runway that would involve the destruction of important ecological areas and impact on residents’ amenity,” Ms Barham said.

“In November 2013, Gold Coast Airport wrote to the then Planning Minister Brad Hazzard and stated that ‘In the longer term, the securing of the additional land area for the airport will enable construction of an extension to the runway.’

“The community should be very concerned that the current proposal opens the door for the airport to carry out major work toward a runway extension and airport expansion, without adequate NSW Government oversight of environmental protection and development approval on Crown land,” Ms Barham concluded.

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891