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Tuesday, 14 May 1985
Page: 1872

Senator CHILDS —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation. I understand that the New South Wales Government is considering an alternative site for the Sydney central business district heliport. Is it the case that the current heliport site is unsuitable because it is part of the Darling Harbour Bicentenary project? Is it also the case that so far the New South Wales Government has received conflicting advice from the various bodies involved, such as the Maritime Services Board, the Premier's Department, et cetera? Finally, when can a decision on this matter be expected?

Senator RYAN —I have some information on the Sydney central business district heliport. The heliport is currently located at Berth 39, Darling Harbour, and operations are limited to day, visual flight rules, charter and air work flights. The area is to be redeveloped by the Darling Harbour Authority for the Bicentennial in 1988 but the date when the area will become available for the heliport is a matter for the New South Wales Government. In April 1983 the New South Wales Government asked the Department of Aviation to join the committee it had established to recommend a new site for the development of an unrestricted heliport. In September 1984 the committee advised the State Government that Berth 15, Pyrmont, was the most suitable site. The New South Wales Government accepted the Committee's report, decided that this site was to be developed as a future Sydney CBD heliport and arranged for preparation of an environmental impact statement. I understand that consideration is being given by the New South Wales Government to alternative sites and a date of vacating Darling Harbour. When the final advice is received the Department of Aviation will evaluate the proposal. So it looks as though a little time will elapse before a final decision is made.