Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Public Works Committee Act - Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works - Reports - R.A.A.F. Base, Darwin, N.T. - Proposal for construction of facilities for a tactical fighter squadron (3rd Report of 1982)


Download PDF Download PDF

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES FOR A TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON

RAAF Base Darwin Northern Territory

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

(Third Report of 1982)

Presented and ordered to be printed 29 April 1982

Parliamentary Paper No. 99/1982

' I - S

MMZH

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

REPORT

relating to the proposal for

CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES OR A TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON RAAF BASE, DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY

(Third Report of 1982)

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA 1982

'Ll· : ν , !

.

• I f Ί ; ' . j

V J ■ 1

1 9 8 2

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS

R E P O R T

relating to the proposal for

CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES

FOR A TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON RAAF BASE, DARWIN,

NORTHERN TERRITORY

(Third Report of 1982)

Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra 1982

© Commonwealth of Australia 1982

Printed by C.J. THOMPSON, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra

MEMBERS OF THE PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS

(Twenty-sixth Committee)

Melville Harold Bungey, Esq., M.P. (Chairman)

James Leslie McMahon, Esq., M.P. (Vice-Chairman) 5

Senate House of Representatives

Senator Dominic John Foreman

Senator Bernard Francis Kilgariff

Senator John Raymond Martyr 4

Senator Jean Isabel Melzer 1 2

Senator Harold William Young

David Bruce Cowan, Esq., M.P.

Benjamin Charles Humphreys, Esq., M.

Urquhart Edward Innes, Esq., M.P.

Murray Evan Sainsbury, Esq., M.P.

1 Retired 30 June 1981

2 Ceased to be member on election as President of the Senate on 18 August 1981

3 Appointed 25 August 1981

4 Appointed 25 August 1981

5 Appointed Vice-Chairman 27 August 1981

PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE ACT 1969 ORDER UNDER SUB-SECTION 18(4)

I, SIR ZELMAN COWEN, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, in pursuance of Sub-Section 18(4) of the Public Works Committee Act 1969 , hereby, by this Order, declare that the

public work described in the schedule be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for consideration and report.

SCHEDULE

CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES FOR A TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON, RAAF BASE DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY - STAGE 1

Given under my Hand and the

ς Great Seal of Australia

* ' on 21 December 1981

ZELMAN COWEN

Governor-General

By His Excellency's Command, (Signed) D.T. McVEIGH

Minister of State for Housing and Construction

WITNESSES

Baker, L.J., Esq., Supervising Engineer, Transport Division, Department of Transport and Works, Mitchell Street, Darwin, Northern Territory

Battersby, R.H., Esq., Project Manager, Department of Housing and Construction, City Mutual Centre, 10-20 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, South Australia

Black, C.A., Esq., Lord Mayor, Corporation of the City of Darwin, GPO Box 84, Darwin, Northern Territory

Boord, L., Esq., Acting First Assistant Secretary, Major Projects, Department of Housing and Construction, DHC House, Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, Australian Capital Territory

Finger, M.R., Esq., CBE, Director-General, Department of the Chief Minister, GPO Box 4396, Darwin, Northern Territory

Hoffman, G.T., Esq., Town Clerk, Darwin City Council, GPO Box 84, Darwin, Northern Territory

Huggett, J.W., Esq., Senior Assistant Secretary, Airport Planning and Development, Department of Transport, P.0. Box 367, Canberra City, Australian Capital Territory

Lawrence, J.R., Esq., Project Manager, Department of Housing and Construction, City Mutual Centre, 10-20 Pulteney Street, Adelaide, South Australia

Lessels, Air Commodore J.D.G., OBE, Director- General, Accommodation and Works - Air Force, Department of Defence, Russell Offices, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Miller, N.R., Esq., First Assistant Secretary, Defence Facilities Division, Department of Defence, Russell Offices, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Moore, M.J., Esq., Chief Property Officer, Department of Administrative Services, GPO Box 927, Darwin, Northern Territory

O'Neil , Mrs. P.F., MLA, Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, Mitchell Street, Darwin, Northern Territory

Parry, Mrs. C.T., RAAF Housewife, 2 Carrabie Street, RAAF Base, Darwin, Northern Territory

Robertson, Group Captain D .A., Officer Commanding, RAAF Base, Darwin, Northern Territory

Silvester, I.J.H., Esq., President, Darwin Aero Club, P.0. Box 39252, Winnellie, Northern Territory

Williams, M.B., Esq., Acting Chief Architect, Defence and Transport, Department of Housing and Construction, DHC House, Northbourne Avenue, Dickson, Australian Capital Territory

C O N T E N T S

Paragraph

REPORTS . 1

THE REFERENCE 2

THE COMMITTEE'S INVESTIGATION 4

BACKGROUND

RAAF Base, Darwin 7

Recent Development 10

THE NEED

Existing Facilities 12

Civil Aviation Facilities 16

Existing Housing 19

Living-in Accommodation 22

Committee's Conclusion 23

THE PROPOSED WORKS Operations Domestic Support Building 24

Engine Runup Facility 25

Ground Support Equipment Shelters 27

Refurbishment of Hangar 557 and Buildings 413 and 417 28

Bulk Bedding Store 31

Alterations to Air Movements Section 32 Sleeping Quarters for Eight Junior Officers 33

Sleeping Quarters for 80 Other Ranks 35

Eighty-three Married Quarters 38

Fencing and Entry Control 42

Upgrading of Engineering Services 43

Car Parking 44

Committee's Conclusion 45

THE SITES 46

Sleeping Quarters 48

Eighty-three Married Quarters 49

Engine Runup Facility 50

Environmental Factors 51

Residential Development 53

Committee's Conclusion 55

Paragraph

OTHER OBSERVATIONS

Consultations with Users 56

Civil Aviation Facilities 57

Stage 2 Works, RAAF Darwin 60

Recreation Facilities 62

Committee's Conclusion 64

LIMIT OF COST 65

PROGRAM 67

Committee's Conclusion 68

RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS 69

APPENDIX A

APPENDIX B

CONSTRUCTION

Operations Domestic Support Building 70

Engine Runup Facility 71

Sleeping Quarters 72

Eighty-three Married Quarters - Building Materials 75

- Fittings and Equipment 77

- Site Development 78

Building Engineering Services 80

Upgrading of Engineering Services 85

Car Parking 90

ILLUSTRATIONS

Darwin and Environs A.

Site Plan South East B.

Site Plan South West C.

New Operations Domestic Support Building D. Sleeping Quarters for 80 Other Ranks E.

PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC WORKS

CONSTRUCTION OF FACILITIES FOR A TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON, RAAF BASE, DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY

INITIAL REPORT

On 21 December 1981, His Excellency the

Governor-General in Council referred to the Parliamentary

Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and

report to Parliament the proposal to construct facilities for a tactical fighter squadron at the Royal Australian

Air Force Base, Darwin, Northern Territory.

The Committee has the honour to report as follows:

REPORTS

1. This is the initial report on this reference of work. The Committee hopes to present a final report later in 1982 .

THE REFERENCE

2. The proposal is for construction of buildings and engineering works as Stage 1 of a two-stage development to

allow the permanent basing of a fighter squadron at RAAF Base Darwin. New married quarters are also to be constructed in association with the base development. The

components of the proposal are:

- an operations domestic support building;

- an engine runup facility;

- ground support equipment shelters; - refurbishment of hangars and ordnance

storage buildings; - sleeping quarters for junior officers and other ranks;

- eighty-three new married quarters; - a car park, security fencing and engineering

services.

1.

3. The limit of cost estimate is $9.6 million at

October 1981 prices.

THE COMMITTEE'S INVESTIGATION

4. The Committee received written submissions and drawings from the Department of Defence and the Department

of Housing and Construction and took evidence from their

representatives at a public hearing in Darwin City Council

Chambers on 4 and 5 March 1982. Written submissions and

evidence were received from the Northern Territory Government, the Darwin City Council, the Darwin Aero Club and

Mrs. P. O'Neil, ML A. Written submissions were received from

Mr. M. Bartlett and Fit. Lt. G.E. Baldock. During the

hearing a representative of the Department of Transport provided a written submission and gave evidence on the proposal to relocate civil aviation activities at Darwin Airport.

5. During the afternoon of 3 March, the Committee

inspected the existing accommodation at RAAF Base, Darwin including some married quarters and the sites for the proposed buildings. The Committee also inspected the proposed site for civil terminal facilities.

6. The Committee's proceedings will be printed as Minutes of Evidence.

BACKGROUND

7. RAAF Base, Darwin The RAAF Base, Darwin was

formed on 1 June 1940 , developed during World War II and now occupies an area of about 1600 hectares. In the period between

the mid-1950s and the mid-1970s, the base underwent major development changes which included:

- construction of all the present main

airfield pavements; - development of an air defence radar site

at Lee Point (2 CRU); - improvements to explosives storage and

handling facilities at Frances Bay;

2 .

- construction of major aviation fuel storage

and dispensing facilities; and - development of operational, technical and

domestic support facilities.

8. Since the early 1960s, numerous Air Defence

Exercises involving the deployment of RAAF Aircraft from their southern bases have been conducted in the Darwin

area, with some of these exercises involving aircraft of

the Royal Air Force and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

9. At the end of 1974 Cyclone Tracy completely

destroyed both the steel-framed hangar and most of the

maintenance support facilities. The cyclone also caused

the destruction of facilities at Lee Point, and Air Defence exercises, which depend on radar control and technical support facilities, have been curtailed as a result. Since Cyclone

Tracy the roles and functions of the base have been restricted due to the limited aircraft staging and support capabilities

of the remaining facilities. Restoration of the Lee Point facility has been completed with re-activation expected to allow resumption of major operational exercises during 1982.

10. Recent Development On 21 August 1980 , the

Committee recommended in its report to Parliament the proposal to construct an aircraft maintenance complex and associated

access pavements at an estimated cost of $4.5 million.

The complex will cater for Darwin-based military aircraft as well as deployed or transient aircraft and is

currently under construction with completion anticipated

for 1982.

11. Some medium works projects are being authorised

in the 1981/82 Defence New Works Program at an estimated cost of $1.64 million to meet the current role of the base. These will include an in-flight kitchen, rations store, butcher

shop and a motor transport complex.

3.

THE NEED

12. Existing Facilities The aircraft pavement system at RAAF Darwin consists of two runways plus associated

parallel and access taxiways and aprons. Extensive

operational support facilities have been provided as part

of the base infrastructure and these include explosives

storage, weapons preparation area, replenishment aprons for loading of fuel and ordinance, navigation and approach aids

and communications facilities. The majority of the base's

domestic and administrative infrastructure is of a satisfactory standard, including some permanent messes and sleeping

accommodation, logistic support buildings, sick quarters and some housing.

13. The Government has decided that RAAF Base Darwin

will be the home for No. 75 Squadron when it returns from

Butterworth, Malaysia in mid-1983. The Committee was advised that existing facilities are adequate to maintain No. 75 Squadron on

short term deployment in compliance with the stated role of the

base to support transient and deployed aircraft on exercises.

In a permanent basing situation, the squadron would be split,

with serviceable aircraft located on the Fighter Replenish­ ment Apron (FRA) in the south-eastern area of the base and

aircraft under repair located at the new hangar complex over 4 km to the west of the FRA by road. Under these

conditions it would be difficult to maintain efficient management. By mid-1983 working accommodation and car

parking will be required for the 105 personnel to be employed at the FRA.

14. No. 75 Squadron will be equipped initially with

Mirage and subsequently with F/A 18 aircraft. To ensure

an acceptable level of security for the valuable RAAF assets which are to be located at the FRA, new fencing will be required.

The existing perimeter fence in the FRA area serves only

to demarcate RAAF property from the Stuart Highway.

Refurbishing of ordnance preparation facilities was kept

to a minimum following Cyclone Tracy but with the home-basing of a fighter squadron, it will be necessary to upgrade these

facilities.

15. Equipment storage and Airmovement Section facilities

in the base support area are unable to cope with the increased

commitments resulting from the home-basing of a fighter squadron. Provision of an air conditioned storage hut and

refurbishing of two existing buildings will alleviate the

situation.

16. Civil Aviation Facilities The site reserved

on the master plan for the permanent fighter squadron's

operational, technical and administrative complex on the southern side of the main runway is presently occupied by

Darwin’s civil aviation facilities. The Department of Defence believes there is no other suitable site for the long

term location of these squadron facilities and has agreed with Department of Transport that civil aviation activities should be moved to the northern side of the main runway.

17. The aircraft engine run-up facility presently located within the proposed civil aviation area on the northern side of the airfield will require demolition and

relocation. A new facility will therefore be required in the FRA area to enable both installed and uninstalled engine

testing to be carried out.

18. Until the proposed move of civil aviation facilities

is completed, the squadron home based at Darwin will continue to be split, as at present, between the FRA and the new maintenance hangar complex which is under construction.

5.

19. Existing Housing Housing for service

families at RAAF Darwin is both on and off base.

The on-base married accommodation consists of 319 houses

of which 248 are below the acceptable cyclone standards

and due for replacement or major repairs. Only sixty

of these houses can be upgraded economically while the

remaining 188 are due to be replaced in the future. All

of these 248 houses are in use but are classified as Group 1A

and therefore attract a lower rate of rental contribution

by the servicemen concerned. A table showing the current and projected on-base housing is given at Appendix A.

20. The foregoing numbers of married quarters are

inadequate to provide for the requirements of No. 75 Squadron

on its return from Malaysia. The main effect of this potential shortage is that married personnel would be unable

to be accompanied by their families and this situation

cannot be alleviated by distorting the married/single personnel ratio on a temporary basis as has occurred with the Operational

Deployment Force at Townsville (see the Committee's Third Report of 1981).

21. As was the case with Townsville, the local housing market is unable to supply the required additional married

quarters to the appropriate standards. In evidence, the Department of Defence advised that it would strongly oppose

any attempt to locate RAAF Personnel in anything approaching welfare housing. When this is considered with the Northern Territory Government's aim to gradually get out of the

provision of government housing in line with its general policy

of involving private enterprise, no possibility seems to exist for the married quarter requirements to be satisfied under

some form of Commonwealth/State Housing Agreement.

22. Living-in Accommodation Sleeping accommodation

will be required for single officers and other ranks (ORs)

on base. No additional accommodation is required for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs). The alternative

6.

is to utilise short stay accommodation presently available but substandard for long term occupancy by personnel.

23. Committee's Conclusion The existing facilities and housing at RAAF Darwin are inadequate to accommodate No. 75 Squadron on its return from Butterworth, Malaysia.

THE PROPOSED WORKS

24. Operations Domestic Support Building This building is to be located within the operational area near the existing FRA and will provide aircrew shower and change, briefing, operations, communication, administration and tea rooms. It will be a single-storey structure with steel columns and

trusses and a prefinished metal sheeting roof. The proximity of the building to operational aircraft and the associated high noise levels will necessitate soundproofing to reduce the transmission of noise to occupied areas.

25. Engine Runup Facility To be located at the end of the taxiway connecting with the eastern end of the existing taxiway Alpha, this facility will be utilised to test run operational fighter aircraft engines. It will comprise two bays, one for testing installed and the other uninstalled aircraft engines. The facility will consist of a concrete apron enclosed by wind shelter walls of reinforced concrete blockwork and a test shelter building with attached annex in the uninstalled engine test bay. A sun shelter will be erected over part of the installed engine test bay and a blast deflector wall constructed to the rear of each bay. Provision is to be made for a future gunfiring stop butt and earth mound to the front wind shelter wall. The Committee was not satisfied that the design and siting of the engine

runup facility will reduce noise emissions from aircraft engines to acceptable levels during testing. Construction of this facility should be delayed until the design can be modified to achieve a significant reduction in the level of

noise emissions. Subsequent tests have indicated that noise levels are unsatisfactory and these are discussed further at paragraph 50 below.

26. The test shelter building, annex and sun shelter will be steel frame with metal sheeting to the walls and roofing. The aircraft pavements will be designed to handle the continuous operation of fighter aircraft including the FlllC and F/A 18.

27. Ground Support Equipment Shelters Two shelters of open steel frame construction with unpainted metal roof

sheeting will be provided, one near each of the FRA and the

new maintenance hangar sites to provide storage for aircraft ground servicing equipment and tow vehicles. The shelters

will have reinforced concrete floors with the surrounding trafficable area being bituminous sealed.

28. Refurbishment of Hangar 557 and Buildings 413 and 417 Hangar 557 is located north of the domestic area

and is at present utilised for vehicle storage and administration.

Provision of metal louvred openings in alternate bays on the

eastern and western sides with a continuous ridge vent at the roof, for natural flow ventilation, will upgrade the hangar

to an aircraft spare parts store.

29. Buildings 413 and 417 are contained within the site

defined as the Weapons Preparation Area and their refurbishing will enable the preparation of weapon ammunition and practice ordnance.

30. Although their upper walls and roofing were extensively

damaged by Cyclone Tracy, the remaining concrete bund walls,

substructure and steel frame work form a suitable base for refurbishing. Building 413 will be reconstructed from the remaining concrete bund and portal frames although some steel­

work will require upgrading due to deterioration and the provision of additional holding down bolts. However, Building 417

was more severely damaged by the cyclone and all but the concrete bund wall and floor is to be demolished. Refurbishing

will provide new concrete block walls to the original height with new steel beams and columns. Both buildings will have

new doors and metal roof sheeting installed, columns and steelwork will also be required.

8.

Additional

31. Bulk Bedding Store The building is to be

supplied by the Department of Defence in prefabricated components and erected on a concrete base within the existing

barracks compound. To prevent mould growth to stored bedding material, the building is to be vapour sealed and air conditioned.

32. Alterations to Air Movements Section The Air Movements Section is the central storage area where all

supplies are unloaded prior to dispersal around the base

and to other bases. Alterations to the building will widen

the existing entry to allow passage of aircraft freight vehicles into the stores area. New footings, column and beam strength­ ening around the opening and provision of a new roller shutter

door will also be required.

33. Sleeping Quarters for Eight Junior Officers The

building will be two-storey with a central access stairway and layout arranged for efficient use of natural ventilation supplemented by ceiling fans. The accommodation will comply

with Scales and Standards and provide individual bedrooms with one bathroom and a box storage room on a shared basis for each two officers.

34. Construction will be in load bearing masonry walls

on a concrete raft base with a suspended concrete first floor. The roof will be prefinished metal sheeting with insulation to reduce heat transfer. Laundry and linen closet facilities will be located on the ground floor. The siting of the building will permit the addition of similar units as required by later development.

35. Sleeping Quarters for 80 Other Ranks The buildings will consist of multiple two-storey blocks arranged in groups. They will be a series of linked clusters in groups of eight bedrooms, four at ground level and four at first floor level. Again their layout will be arranged for maximum use of natural

cross ventilation supplemented by ceiling fans.

9.

36. Each group of clusters will be served by

a single stairway, with the bedrooms connecting to a common

room which in turn provides access to an area containing shower,

toilet and laundry facilities. Construction will be in load bearing masonry walls on a concrete raft base with a suspended concrete first floor. The roof will be prefinished metal sheeting insulated to reduce heat transfer.

37. The accommodation will comply with Scales

and Standards and siting of the buildings will take into account

potential future development in the area.

38. Eighty-three Married Quarters These married

quarters are required on base as part of 160 houses which will be essential to accommodate the personnel and dependents

of No. 75 Squadron on their return from Malaysia. All of

these houses will comply with the interim Scales and Standards for Married Quarters Accommodation.

39. The houses will be of traditional high-set design with lightweight construction, taking account of natural

ventilation and minimal solar heat gain to maintain internal comfort. All materials used will have low maintenance

characteristics while the construction methods will provide structural integrity under cyclonic wind loading.

40. A range of alternative plan layouts is intended

to cater for the diverse requirements of individual tenants.

A narrow rectangular plan provides for maximum exposure to

and penetration of cooling breezes. Window openings should be located on both windward and leeward sides of the building

and placed to take account of room layout and activities.

Large free openings will promote cross ventilation while window surfaces require shading and should give protection from wind-driven rain while allowing freedom of air movement.

The building envelope should be well insulated and of a light colour to minimise heat absorption. Materials selected should

be lightweight to avoid heat retention and allow the structure to cool rapidly at night.

10 .

41. The tender procedure, as well as seeking

out the most cost effective options, will be designed to

attract a range of alternative house types which can then be

assessed for their suitability. The design process must also

consider:

- provision for structural loading and

debris screening for cyclonic conditions;

- wet season high rainfall and severe

lightning activity; - constantly high ambient temperatures and

humidities;

- aggressive termite and high insect populations;

and

- limited local material availability.

42. Fencing and Entry Control These will be

provided to the operational area of the base with the upgraded perimeter fencing directing authorised vehicles off the Stuart

Highway through a single controlled entry check point. The perimeter fence will be rearranged to enclose the new engine

runup facility. A person-proof fence with locked gates will

enclose the FRA area.

43. Upgrading of Engineering Services The

installation of new buildings and changes in function due to

refurbishing will necessitate an upgrading of engineering services. Civil, hydraulic and electrical engineering

services at the base will be upgraded to provide for the new buildings and facilities.

44. Car Parking The development of the operational

area will create a need for car parking capable of handling

63 vehicles. The car park will primarily cater for personnel operating in and visiting the area on duty. It will be located between the Weapons Preparation and FRA areas and will

be provided with kerbing and a bituminous surface.

11.

45. Committee's Conclusion The design of the proposed

works with the exception of the engine runup facility is

satisfactory. Construction of the proposed engine runup facility

should be delayed until problems with noise pollution have been

completely resolved. The Committee will report further on the

engine runup facility when its siting and design have been

reassessed by the Department of Defence and the Department of

Housing and Construction. THE SITES

46. The sites for the proposed works are within the

perimeter of the RAAF Base at Darwin which is located approximately 6 km north-east of the Darwin City centre on

the northern side of the Stuart Highway. The base has a total

variation in height above sea level ranging from 7 to 32 metres,

with all sites for the proposed works being relatively flat. Surveys and Soils Investigations have been carried out on the

proposed sites. As a result of these and earlier experience gained in the area, no problems are expected in the construction of the proposed works.

47. The Operations Domestic Support Building and ground

support equipment shelter sites were mentioned previously

under "The Proposed Works". The Bulk Bedding Store will be constructed within the existing barracks compound near the Air Movements Section.

48. Sleeping Quarters The sleeping quarters for 8 junior officers will be constructed in the south-western area

near the intersection of Billeroy and Bukatilla Roads and to the north of the existing married quarters. The ORs' accommod­ ation will be located amongst similar existing quarters in the

south-west of the base in an area bounded by Amaroo and Elonera Streets.

49. Eighty-three Married Quarters These will again

be located in the area to the south-west of the base. Of

these married quarters, 59 will be located on existing sites which previously accommodated houses destroyed by Cyclone Tracy„ The remaining 24 houses will be located to the north of the existing married accommodation and within acceptable noise

contour limits imposed by operating aircraft.

12.

50. Engine Runup Facility The Darwin City Council

expressed some reservations concerning the proposed siting of

the facility in respect of the noise affecting surrounding

areas. The Department of Defence stated they would bring a

Mirage aircraft to Darwin for a series of engine tests in the presence of community leaders and the media so an accurate

public reaction could be generated. The Committee requested

the Department of Defence to include takeoffs, landings and

night flying over Darwin in these engine noise tests and the Department complied with the request. Advice was subsequently

received that the on-ground tests, held on 24 March 1982, did

not support the assertions made in respect of noise by the

Department of Defence during the public hearing.

51. Environmental Factors The Committee notes the assurance given by the Minister for Defence and the Minister

for Transport on 18 December 1980 that a full environmental

assessment of the project would be made before work began on

the development of the civil terminal at Darwin Airport. The Committee does not consider the Environment Project Working Group, which reports to the Joint Government Co-ordinating

Committee for the airport development project, to be an appropriate forum for consideration of the environmental

implications of the civil terminal.

52. The Committee believes that the development of Darwin

Airport for both civil and military operations has significant environmental impact. Notwithstanding the earlier deter­

mination by the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment that a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required,

the Committee believes that an EIS should be prepared to ensure careful public consideration of all aspects of the future civil terminal and RAAF Stage 2 development.

53. Residential Development The Committee was given some evidence that residential development has been permitted

within the 25 NEF contour covering parts of the suburbs to the north of Darwin. It was suggested that the responsible authorities have permitted this development and in the future

may complain of the adverse effects of noise on residents.

13.

54. Evidence presented to the Committee indicates that

a substantial noise nuisance from both military and civil

aircraft can be expected in the Coconut Grove and Bagot area. Residential development in this area is recent and further such

development should be examined by the relevant Northern

Territory authorities.

55. Committee's Conclusion The sites selected are

suitable except for the Engine Runup Facility. An Environmental

Impact Statement should be prepared on Darwin Airport before

additional military or civil developments proceed. The

Northern Territory planning authorities should immediately examine

the compatibility of further residential development in areas

likely to suffer substantial aircraft noise nuisance.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS

56. Consultations with Users In the Committee's Third Report of 1981 on the Provision of Army Housing at Townsville,

the need for full and regular consultations between service

families and relevant Departments on the needs and problems of the occupants of service housing was commented on at length. During development of the married quarters included in this

reference, the Department of Defence and the Department of

Housing and Construction have consulted with the wives at RAAF Darwin for the first time and the Committee commends this

approach. The results appear to confirm the value of such

consultations. Every effort should be made to ensure these consultations remain an integral part of the planning process

as outlined in paragraph 42 of the Committee's Townsville report.

57. Civil Aviation Facilities The RAAF Base Darwin has been a joint user (civil/military) airfield since 1945 when

certain buildings were allocated to the Department of Transport on a temporary basis. An area of approximately 48.5 hectares

in the centre of the base with access to the Stuart Highway was allocated to the Department of Transport in 1945 and now

incorporates aircraft pavements, light aircraft hangars and other support facilities for civil operations.

14 .

58. The continued presence of civil aviation facilities

in the middle of the RAAF Base creates operational and security

problems for the RAAF at Darwin. Operational problems will

become acute when No. 75 Squadron is permanently based at

Darwin and it becomes split between the FRA and the maintenance

hangar, requiring frequent movement across the civil operations area. Consequently, the proposed upgrading of Darwin Airport

is being used as an opportunity to move civil aviation to the

northern side of the base and, in the longer term, hand back

the 48.5 hectares on the southern side to the RAAF.

59. The proposed move will be the subject of a separate

reference to the Committee at a later date following Government

approval to proceed to a limit of cost estimate.

60. Stage 2 Works, RAAF Darwin The development of Stage 2

was foreshadowed in this hearing. These works will provide for the re-equipment of No. 75 Squadron with F/A 18 aircraft in 1986/87 and the squadron's relocation to permanent operational

facilities in the area where the general aviation complex is

presently located. A full list of the works is given at paragraph 38, page 11 of the evidence from the Department of Defence.

61. The Stage 2 works will depend on the move of civil aviation facilities to the northern side of the base and in any event they do not depend on or influence the works in this

reference.

62. Recreation Facilities Following questions raised at

the public hearing, the Department of Defence provided information

which shows that with the 723 personnel presently at RAAF Base Darwin there is a deficiency in recreation facilities as

prescribed by current Scales and Standards. The Committee is

concerned that this situation will deteriorate when No. 75 Squadron arrives in mid-1983. The Department of Defence mentioned

in their written evidence that physical fitness facilities will be included in the Stage 2 works timed for completion between 1985 and 1986, but did not indicate the nature of those

facilities.

15.

63. The Committee considers the present lack of

recreation facilities and their future overloading for a

period of at least two years to be unacceptable. The Committee recommends that urgent attention be given to

increasing the recreation facilities at RAAF Darwin to the

level prescribed by Scales and Standards and that these works

be timed for completion by mid-1983 when the base personnel establishment will increase by 304 with the arrival of No. 75

Squadron. In determining priorities in the provision of

the facilities, the views of personnel and their dependents at RAAF Base Darwin should be taken into account.

64. Committee's Conclusion The Committee recommends that urgent attention be given to increasing the recreation

facilities at RAAF Darwin to the level prescribed by Scales

and Standards and that these works be timed for completion by mid-1983 when the base personnel establishment will increase

by 304 with the arrival of No. 75 Squadron. In determining

priorities in the provision of the facilities, the views of personnel and their dependents at RAAF Base Darwin should be taken into account.

LIMIT OF COST

65. The Limit of Cost estimate is $9.6 million at October 1981 prices, made up as follows:

$

Building works 2 470 000

On-base married quarters 5 250 000 Engineering works 1 880 000

9 600 000

66. The cost of the recommended works is $9,056 million at October 1981 prices.

PROGRAM

67. The Department of Defence requires, subject to approval,

completion of these works by mid-1983. Tenders will be called to achieve this final completion date.

16.

68. Committee's Conclusion The Committee recommends

the construction of the works in this reference with the

exception of the engine runup facility.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS

69. The summary of recommendations and conclusions of the

Committee and the paragraph in the report to which each refers

is set out below.

Paragraph

1. THE EXISTING FACILITIES AND HOUSING AT RAAF DARWIN ARE INADEQUATE TO ACCOMMODATE

NO. 75 SQUADRON ON ITS RETURN FROM

BUTTERWORTH, MALAYSIA. 23

2. THE DESIGN OF THE PROPOSED WORKS WITH THE

EXCEPTION OF THE ENGINE RUNUP FACILITY

IS SATISFACTORY. 45

3. CONSTRUCTION OF THE PROPOSED ENGINE

RUNUP FACILITY SHOULD BE DELAYED UNTIL

PROBLEMS WITH NOISE POLLUTION HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY RESOLVED. 45

4. THE COMMITTEE WILL REPORT FURTHER ON THE ENGINE RUNUP FACILITY WHEN ITS SITING AND

DESIGN HAVE BEEN REASSESSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE AND THE DEPARTMENT

OF HOUSING AND CONSTRUCTION. 45

5. THE SITES SELECTED ARE SUITABLE EXCEPT FOR THE ENGINE RUNUP FACILITY. 55

6. AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT SHOULD

BE PREPARED ON DARWIN AIRPORT BEFORE ADDITIONAL MILITARY OR CIVIL DEVELOPMENTS

PROCEED. 55

7. THE NORTHERN TERRITORY PLANNING AUTHORITIES SHOULD IMMEDIATELY EXAMINE THE COMPATIBILITY

OF FURTHER RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN AREAS LIKELY TO SUFFER SUBSTANTIAL AIRCRAFT NOISE NUISANCE.

17 .

55

Paragraph

8. THE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT URGENT

ATTENTION BE GIVEN TO INCREASING THE RECREATION FACILITIES AT RAAF DARWIN TO

THE LEVEL PRESCRIBED BY SCALES AND

STANDARDS AND THAT THESE WORKS BE TIMED

FOR COMPLETION BY MID-1983 WHEN THE BASE PERSONNEL ESTABLISHMENT WILL INCREASE BY

304 WITH THE ARRIVAL OF NO. 75 SQUADRON.

IN DETERMINING PRIORITIES IN THE PROVISION

OF THE FACILITIES, THE VIEWS OF PERSONNEL

AND THEIR DEPENDENTS AT RAAF BASE DARWIN SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. 64

9. THE LIMIT OF COST FOR THE RECOMMENDED

WORKS IS $9,056 MILLION AT OCTOBER 1981 PRICES. 66

10. THE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THE CONSTRUCTION

OF THE WORKS IN THIS REFERENCE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ENGINE RUNUP FACILITY. 68

(M.H. BUNGEY) Chairman

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works, Parliament House, CANBERRA, ACT

22 April 1982

APPENDIX A.

ON-BASE HOUSING REQUIREMENTS AT RAAF DARWIN(1)

Group Range

Numbers Additional Available Requirements Total

1A

IB

Private/Corporal ) )

)

Sergeant/ )

Flight Sergeant )

306 (2 )

56

)

) ) 362

) )

2 Warrant Officer/

Flight Lieutenant

3 Squadron Leader/

Wing Commander

4 Group Captain/

Air Commodore

7 22 29

5 5 10

1 - 1

319 83 402

(1) Using the revised Scales and Standards but based only on the floor area of existing houses.

(2) Of these 273 are Group 1A (Group 1 deficient) under the old Scales and Standards.

19.

APPENDIX B

CONSTRUCTION

70. Operations Domestic Support Building External

walls will have an inner leaf of concrete blockwork clad with prefinished metal sheeting. The roof and walls will

be insulated and vapour sealed. Internal walls will generally be painted blockwork, toilets and showers being

plastered and tiled as appropriate. Ceilings will be

suspended acoustic tiles to all areas with flush plasterboard in toilet and change areas. Floors will be

concrete surfaced with heavy duty vinyl tiles, while ceramic tiling will be provided in wet areas.

71. Engine Runup Facility Taxiway pavements will

comprise 50mm bituminous concrete on 150mm fine crushed rock

on 275mm gravel and base. Apron pavement will comprise 300mm concrete on 150mm fine crushed rock base.

72. Sleeping Quarters Internal walls will be painted

masonry with plaster and tile finishes to wet areas. Ceilings will be painted plasterboard and ceiling heights will be suitable for the efficient and safe operation of ceiling fans.

73. Sun protection will be provided by the use of

sunshading from the roof overhang and by external metal

louvres. Windows will have insect screened adjustable glass louvres. Carpet will be provided in the bedrooms and ceramic tiles in wet areas.

74. Bitumen sealed car parking will be established for

vehicles with connecting paved access to the building. The

immediate surrounds are to be landscaped with native vegetation of low maintenance to provide for sunshading, wind and noise screening.

75 . Eighty-three Married Quarters - Building Materials

These must be chosen for their general performance in humid conditions and for their resistance to fungal and insect attack. For use in exposed locations resistance to

solar radiation and to constant wetting and drying action must also be considered. 20.

76. Timber framing will be raised on reinforced

concrete piers and blockwork walls. Roof cladding will be

steel decking on timber trusses while prefinished

metal wall cladding will be used externally. Plasterboard

will be used for internal walls and ceilings with polished timber floor boards. Laminated plastic wall linings and

ceramic tile floors will be used in wet areas. In high-set

houses the under-house areas will be concrete paved with

provision for car parking.

77. - Fittings and Equipment These are to be in

accordance with Scales and Standards and will include:

- built-in wardrobes to all bedrooms; - kitchens to have pantry cupboard and space for refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher;

- vanity units in bathrooms.

Additional equipment will also include an electrically boosted

solar hot water system, ceiling sweep fans, kitchen range

and hood and bathroom and WC exhaust.

78. - Site Development House designs will be

required to allow vehicular access from alternative directions

to provide siting flexibility. Development will also include the provision of concrete driveways, paths, clothes hoists

and boundary fencing, Low maintenance native trees and shrubs will be used for landscaping to provide screening for

shade and privacy.

79. Subdivision for the new sites will extend existing

services comprising roads, footpath, street lighting, water,

sewerage, stormwater and electricity. All houses will be connected to reticulated services.

80. Building Engineering Services Electrical services

to all buildings will comprise lighting and power in accordance

with the relevant Australian Codes.

81. Automatic fire detection systems will be provided

in Hangar 557, the Bulk Bedding Store and the Operations Domestic Support Building. Other buildings will be fitted

21.

with manual fire call points. All fire alarm systems will

connect back to the Base RAAF fire station.

82. Mechanical services to buildings will comprise

exhaust and ventilation systems, air conditioning, hot water

systems, refrigerated drinking units, washing machines and dryers to laundries.

83. Part of the operations domestic support building and the bulk bedding store will be air conditioned while

the sleeping quarters will be provided with mechanical

ventilation by means of ceiling fans with speed controllers. Exhaust systems will be provided to locker, toilet and kitchen areas.

84. Solar hot water systems will be installed in the single sleeping quarters, married quarters and Operations

Domestic Support Building for economy.

85. Upgrading of Engineering Services Civil works

comprise the upgrading, deviation and extension of the perimeter road which traverses the southern side of the operational area.

86. The hydraulic works will comprise the upgrading of

pipework and valves for water supply and connections into the existing sewerage system.

87. The existing base water supply over recent years has been unable to cope with the demands placed upon it.

The proposed development will place further strain on the system and it is therefore proposed to upgrade the mains

entering and feeding the base. The works will provide new water mains of increased capacity and will upgrade the base

fire fighting facilities for the Stage 1 and future base

development requirements. Water service to new buildings in both domestic and operational areas will be connected into

existing mains systems.

88. The domestic area of the base is served by an

existing sewerage reticulation system and new buildings in this

22.

area will be connected into this reticulation. The existing

system has sufficient capacity to handle the increased flows.

The Operations Domestic Support Building in the operational area is outside the zone served by the sewerage reticulation

system and this building will be served by a new septic tank

system.

89. Electrical services will be upgraded by additional

substation capacity at the engine runup area. The existing 11000 volt underground electrical distribution system and

the central emegency power house have sufficient capacity

to accommodate the proposed building loads.

90. Car Parking The car park will be located in

the operational area between the weapons preparation area and

fighter replenishment apron and will be primarily for parking of vehicles used by personnel operating and visiting the

area. Kerbing and a bituminous surface will be provided together with native trees and shrubs in nature strips between vehicle rows for sunshading. An extension to the local water

supply will be arranged for watering the trees and shrubs.

23.

R.A.A.F BASE DARWIN T. F F - STAGE 1

50 Ο 50 100

Φ “ ίΠΠΙ I _Γ R.A.A.F BASE DARWIN T E E - STAGE 1

BULK BEDDING STORE

I I

-/ — t-----

S t u a r t H i g h w a y

50 0 50 100 150

© - j i n n . _rR.A.A.F BASE DARWIN T. F F - STAGE 1

Runway

© -dimR.A.A.F. BASE T F F - STAGEDARWIN 1

NORTH

SECTION

PARKING

\wmm

Ώ_ν.«Ï… SOUTH WEST m o ; &

PLAN

SITE PLAN

^ -juu SLEEPING QUARTERS FOR EIGHTY (80) OTHER RANKS R.A.A.F BASE T.FF- STAGE DARWIN

1