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Wednesday, 1 June 1994
Page: 1069

Senator CHILDS —My question is directed to the Minister for Defence. I note the minister's recent comments regarding housing encroachment around defence airfields. Is the minister aware of a statement attributed to Senator Chapman in which he claims that Defence proposes to release land next to RAAF base Edinburgh airfield for residential development?

Senator ROBERT RAY —Honourable senators would recall that I answered a question a couple of weeks ago—I know they will remember it well—in which I complained about the fact that certain councils were allowing residential development within flight paths. The ever diligent Senator Chapman put out a press statement saying that this was what the RAAF was doing at Edinburgh. Of course, he did not take any care to look at where the RAAF was developing land near Edinburgh. Mr President, you would not be surprised to know it is not in the flight path. So this well-informed South Australian senator, who obviously knows nothing of the geography of that area, got it wrong yet again.

  The property that we are particularly worried about is the area around Bolivar Road—that is, both sides of Bolivar Road between Burton Road and Waterloo Corner, and along the western side of Bolivar Road from the RAAF boundary to Diment Road. Those are not large parcels of land, but they are within the noise exposure forecast areas to be affected by flights.

  Our objections are not the same as those of Senator Chapman. If he wants to restrict housing development in the Salisbury area, in areas not in the sound forecast area, I would be very surprised.  I would also be very surprised because we are dealing with someone who went within two votes of defeating Alexander Downer for the seat of Mayo back in 1984. What a pity, is all I can say. There could have been a Chapman-Aldred dream ticket a few weeks ago if only two people had switched their votes! I suggest to Senator Chapman that, before he takes cheap and opportunistic shots, he does his research for once, gets it right for once and does not muck it up like he always does.