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Wednesday, 13 May 1987
Page: 3149

(Question No. 5231)

Mr MacKellar asked the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 24 March 1987:

(1) Does the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority operate an airstrip at Talbingo, New South Wales.

(2) Has the airstrip recently been extended and its southern approaches modified; if so.

(a) by what length was the runway extended,

(b) what were the reasons for the extension and approach modifications,

(c) how many cubic metres of excavation was involved in the extension and modifications,

(d) were the earthworks undertaken by Authority staff or by private contractor,

(e) what was the (i) estimated and (ii) actual cost of the project and

(f) on what date was the project (i) commenced and (ii) completed.

(3) What type of aircraft

(a) currently use the airstrip and

(b) will use the airstrip after its improvement.

(4) How many aircraft movements occurred at the airstrip during each year since 1980.

Mr Barry Jones —The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes

(2) The Authority has modified the southern approach to the airstrip. It has done this by:

Building a culvert over a creek which crossed the southern end

Moving material from the top of a hill which encroached into the 1:20 take-off gradient.

The material removed from the hill was used to fill in the depression where the culvert was built.

(a) The paved runway has not been extended beyond its existing 560 m. However the elimination of the creek and the reduction of the height of the hill have added approximately 100 m for terminating landings, and 50 m for take-offs, in the southern direction.

(b) The work was carried out to increase the safety margins at take-offs and landings with the Authority's Nomad Aircraft.

(c) Approximately 15,000-20,000m3 has been excavated from the hill and placed over the culvert in the creek area.

(d) The work was carried out by Authority personnel, partly as a training exercise for new plant operators, such as dozer drivers. During December 1986 to January 1987, personnel required on standby for the Tumut 1 tunnel outage were utilised.

(e) (i) Estimated cost of the work was $50,000.

(ii) Actual cost charged to the project is $63,000 at the end of February 1987.

(f) (i) The project commenced on 14 March 1986 and the work was carried out intermittently as resources permitted.

(ii) The project is not yet completed. There is some re-seeding to be done.

(3) (a) The Authority has one aircraft, a Nomad which uses the Talbingo airstrip on a regular basis. RAAF Caribous and National Parks and Wildlife helicopters also use the strip on occasions.

(b) Only aircraft with short take-off and landing capability (STOL) can use the strip. The recent work on the strip will not change the type of aircraft that can use the airstrip, but it has improved the safety margins.

(4) Aircraft movements: 1980-521; 1981-564; 1982-537; 1983-484; 1984-484; 1985-570; 1986-496.