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EIS released on the Hawk Lead-In Fighters.



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Media Release

Bob Baldwin MP

Federal Member for Paterson

19 December 2002

EIS RELEASED ON THE HAWK LEAD-IN FIGHTERS

The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, has released the EIS for the introduction of the Hawk Lead-In Fighters at RAAF Williamtown, with 37 recommendations.

The recommendations have now been conveyed to the Federal Minister for Defence. The Defence Minister will now consider the recommendations in relation to the Hawk Lead-In Fighters, RAAF Williamtown and the Salt Ash Weapons Range.

The Federal Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, said he welcomed the recommendation that the Defence Department should consider whether its current position against land acquisition or noise attenuation is still appropriate.

“I have always maintained that residents who are severely affected by noise from RAAF Williamtown and the bombing range, should have access to a voluntary land acquisition and amelioration program.

“These recommendations are now in the hands of the Defence Minister, who makes the final approval on the introduction of the Hawk Lead-In Fighters.”

“So far, I have successfully lobbied for land acquisitions for residents living in Slades Road, Moxy Close and Steel St.

“These recommendations are now in the hands of the Defence Minister, who makes the final approval on the introduction of the Hawk Lead-In Fighters.”

Other recommendations in the EIS are: • An Environmental Management Plan for RAAF Williamtown should be developed to incorporate all environmental aspects raised in the assessment report. • Defence should implement a long-term noise monitoring program for aircraft

activities • Defence should consider as a matter of priority implementing a noise attenuation program at the Salt Ash Public School to reduce the adverse impacts of aircraft

noise.

• Defence should commission a comprehensive long-term health study of the Port Stephens area by an independent party to ascertain impacts of the RAAF Base and the Salt Ash Weapons Range, including testing for criteria pollutants and air toxics. • Air quality, water quality and ground water monitoring should be undertaken and

an environmental status report should be prepared on the flora and fauna at the weapons range.

• RAAF should reconsider its communication program for advising on the Salt Ash Weapons Range usage, giving careful consideration to releasing a flying schedule on a monthly basis through a number of media including, but not limited to, the 1800 number. • Defence should pursue the reinstatement of the Williamtown RAAF Base

Community Consultative Committee once the legal dispute is finalised as an important mechanism of information exchange between the RAAF and the community regarding RAAF activities.

Further information and a full list of the recommendations can be found at www.ea.gov.au/assessments/epip/notifications/hawkleadinfighter/index.html