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68volksy

Goulburn Airport Sale

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Hi all,

 

I'm Vice-president of the Southern Highlands Aero Club based in Goulburn. Council decided some months ago that it would be in the best interests of Goulburn to sell the airport. Their main issues have been the cost of running the airport (although they have never been able to provide us with reliable figures), that they don't know how to run an airport (as if changing light bulbs and mowing the lawn is beyond them) and that the community of Goulburn wants the airport sold.

 

We're actively trying to canvas support for the retention of the airport. We've held off the sale for several months but it is getting down to the nitty gritty now. I've copied the email and postal addresses of the Goulburn Post (the local newspaper) and Goulburn Mulwaree Council below. If anyone out there could help us to save our airport through writing a short letter in support of retaining the airport in Council hands it would be very much appreciated. Any ideas on how Council could make the airport more viable would also help.

 

If you have any further queries you can contact me through here or on 0421 285 423. If you could forward the Aero Club a copy of the letters it would be great. Our faith in this Council and their methods is questionable at best.

 

Goulburn Post:

 

The Editor

 

PO Box 152

 

Goulburn NSW 2580

 

email: [email protected]

 

fax: (02) 4822 1607

 

Goulburn Mulwaree Council:

 

The General Manager

 

Locked Bag 22

 

Goulburn NSW 2580

 

Southern Highlands Aero Club:

 

The Secretary

 

PO Box 1166

 

Goulburn NSW 2580

 

Thanking everyone,

 

Tim Allen

 

 

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Here is another situation that is withering away our freedoms - please all get behind this, it only takes a minute of your time to help protect our own future.

 

 

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Hi Tim,

 

Is the council's expectation to sell it and have it continue as an airport with a private owner/operator? What impact would this have on those who have purchased land lots for hangars etc. and has this been addressed / raised? How much do they reckon it's worth? What do they expect the land will be used for if sold - farming / warehouses / housing / continue as an airport?

 

Not sure if you can answer all of these but just asking in the hope you might.

 

As a regular visitor to Goulburn it would be very sad to see this airfield lost. Regarding what can be done to improve the perception / viability etc. this is as much up to the operators at the airfield and aviation community in and around Goulburn to generate interest and activity at the airfield. For example, although we get up there pretty regularly I wasn't even aware of the aero club, most days we go up there (Saturday's and Sundays') it's like a ghost town with not too many people around (if any). Always thought that a bit odd given the number of aircraft and hangars up there, expected there to be a bit more of an active group of flyers up there...maybe we're just going on the wrong days.

 

Now that we know there's an aero club we'll get involved. We're also considering relocating the CT4 from Canberra up to Goulburn to take advantage of the hangarage opportunities up there (given none in Canberra).

 

It'd also be worth having a look at the recent work being done by the owners of the Polo Flat airfield, they're marketing to people from Canberra and the Cooma surrounds to 'come to Polo Flat, build a hangar' etc. etc.

 

Anyway, just my thoughts for now. Happy to get behind the push to keep it running and improving it.

 

Cheers,

 

Matt.

 

 

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Hi Matt,

 

Our major gripe with Council has been the lack of any feedback whatsoever. As such I cannot provide answers to any of those questions. Based on the lack of feedback we've had to adopt the stance of assuming the worst. None of the developers have approached us as yet either to provide any insight. The general view (assuming the worst) is the eventual closing of the airport and subdivision of the land into industrial lots as is occurring with the Southern Distribution Business Park a couple of hundred metres down the road. The Council is talking several million dollars from what we can gather which makes the question of how an investor is going to make any money all the more important.

 

I've only been involved out at the airport for 6 months or so and we only started the club about 3 months ago. There was a small group out there who preferred to keep to themselves. Fair enough considering the amount of politics that was involved in the past - there were 2 clubs actively slandering each other at one stage out there by the sound of things! There's a BBQ on the 1st Saturday of each month which has been run by Goulburn Aviation (the flying school) which all are welcome to attend.

 

This saturday we've advertised the BBQ and the local paper will be out there taking photos so i'd like to extend an invitation to everyone to join us for a BBQ around midday. The more happy smiling aviators we can muster the better!!

 

Thanks,

 

Tim.

 

 

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Understand completely and it all sounds very disappointing.

 

Just want to confirm whether the BBQ will be this weekend or Saturday the 1st? Either way, count us in.

 

Cheers,

 

Matt.

 

 

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My apologies,

 

The BBQ will be held this Saturday the 1st of September. Usually warm it up about midday. Ad goes into local community event section of paper tomorrow.

 

Thanks,

 

Tim.

 

 

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My apologies...forgot how late in August it is...this weekend is the 1st of September!!! how time flies.

 

See you Saturday then.

 

Cheers,

 

Matt.

 

 

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Well that's a development (no pun intended), I know of a couple of other trikers in the Goulburn-Braidwood area, and another Forum member Mudjeep has just bought a block at Tarago south of Goulburn. None of these people nor myself have any involvement with Goulburn Airport as far as I know, though it would be a shame to see it lost.

 

Weather permitting on Saturday (and it looks like it might) I'll fly the 50km to Goulburn for the BBQ to show some support.

 

Cheers,

 

Glen

 

 

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i am currently trying to organise hangarage at Goulburn, as it is the only airfield within 1 hrs drive of where i am that has hangerage and is ultralight friendly! only option i have are Hoxton park Bankstown or camden, and cost is big deterrent there, Albion park is all full, and expensive, The oaks is full, that leaves Goulburn... if that dissapears, i will be trekking to Cooma just to go and fly.... sadly Marouya is closer, but the only airfields within flying range is again Goulburn or Cooma.. seams the Hunter Valley is rapidly becoming the aviation hum of NSW... scone, cessnock, warnervale, Maitland Mudgee, all withing close proximity to each other compared to everywhere else.

 

 

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Airport Sale.

 

No doubt there will be a plan to utilise the land for some other purpose, as time will reveal. Councils, with some notable exceptions , do not seem to appreciate the long-term value of an airport, for air ambulance, recreation, business aviation, etc. Golf Courses seem to survive as a patch of green, but airports seem to be throw- away items.

 

See if you can get information from the likes of Temora, Yarrawonga, Narromine etc. to show your council that there is another way (if they will listen) & if they don't (most likely) Try the papers, or letter drop the residents. GOOD LUCK anyhow. Nev..

 

 

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I thought most of the airports under council control were handed to them from the government with a wad of funds to manage on the proviso that they were NOT to be sold.

 

Does council have the right or the power to sell them?!

 

Sounds like what's happening with the Whitsunday airport saga,where developers are using the argument that to not sell the airport will hurt tourism.

 

Supreme court declared that the council's decision to sell it was unenforceable as the land was state government owned.

 

Perhaps we may have to start jerking a little further up the chain?

 

Didn't that make the developers cranky!!

 

 

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Guest grantisaac

Hi, Sorry to hear that there is yet another council trying to make some money. You need to find out if the council actually owns the airport or are trustees under the Crown. Here at Forbes the Airport Belongs to the Crown and is managed by the Council.We are trying with the Council to purchase some of the land from the crown to enable to freehold purchase of hangar space but are having problem with the Dept of Local Gov as they say the land must be Community use.

 

Does the Air Ambulance use the airport?Do the people of Goulburn know that they would lose this service if the airfield closed? As a Club you need to canvas other users of the airport and have a meeting with the council and remind them that the Airport is a community item like sporting fields and swimming pools which always cost councils money.

 

Good Luck

 

Grant

 

 

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Wow ! interesting what you read in this Recreational Aviation forum !

 

I knew nothing about the Aero Club, and I've only heard a few rumours about the disposal of the airfield. I have my 'plane at Goulburn, and I fly regularly from there, generally on a Saturday. They must be very quiet.

 

Jack.:;)2::;)2:

 

 

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Thanks,

 

From the last couple of days discussions with Councillors and employees we may have to concede that the airport will eventually be sold. However if we kick up a big enough stink we may be able to save the access to it for future generations. If we can get the Aero Club's and other recreational users rights protected in some way (through the retention of the grass strip or some other legal means) then both the Council and ourselves may walk away happy.

 

But we need to make them sit up and listen!!

 

So if anyone on here who has not already sent a letter could please do so it would help immensely. They're an old guard of Councillors who seem truly shocked and a little proud when someone outside of Goulburn takes an interest in activities. And please start talking about this with others - if we lose this i'll be driving to go flying for longer than i'll be spending flying!!

 

Thanks again,

 

Tim Allen

 

 

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Tim

 

Have you brought to the attention of the RAAus - they may be able to assist in lobbying!

 

 

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Tim

 

Is there any merit in running a "safety" argument and enlisting the RAA's support for that, as I know a number of pilots who have been flying to/from the Sydney area and who have had to drop into your strip when the weather closed in around there and as you would know, the hills & overall height around there can result in rapid weather.

 

To not have your facility in Goulburn would surely remove a vital option or alternate in a pretty important section of country.

 

Does that help any?

 

If you agree with the above and can add any more from your local knowledge, I'd be happy to write to the Council and others along those lines.

 

Regards Geoff

 

 

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The saftey argument is a good call - especially as fire spotting operations have been run out of their in the past (I think fairly recently, but the CFI there would know).

 

 

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It's true that the distance between airports in the Goulburn area is greater than most other areas on the eastern seaboard and closing it will leave a big hole, creating the safety issue and potentially precautionary landings / forced landings where they're not wanted.

 

 

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That's a great point Sain

 

Down this way, the operations of the fire fighting aircraft are sacrosanct.

 

Can an argument be also mounted that the Council may be culpable if they remove the facility at which Air Tractors and the like can be filled and serviced in that part of the highlands?

 

I would think that the Cockies would scream if they knew that the sale of the airport by GCC would leave them further exposed to bushfire risks.

 

Regards Geoff

 

 

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All good points,

 

We had a quick chat to RAAus last night and will contact them today. The Council will argue that the future owner cannot shut the airport. That's all and well but they can raise our fees/lock the gates to push recreational aviation out. We have no way of ensuring public access if it is owned privately. If a future owner decide sto shut it then it would be up to us to bring the appropriate legal action against them in the appropriate court and front the appropriate legal costs...

 

Safety is a good argument in any regard however as it may make them think harder about protecting our rights. It also makes the future sale a state and country-wide affair.

 

Thanks,

 

Tim Allen

 

 

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Here is a small way which everyone on here can help out by voting no:

 

http://goulburn.yourguide.com.au/home.asp

 

Knowing the Council employees that we have pissed off they will probably be getting everyone they know to vote so the more people clicking on that "no" button the better!!

 

If anyone knows of other forums (international even) they can post this on that would be awesome. Or if anyone has group mail-outs please make use of them!!

 

 

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My vote cast...hopefully the results keep at their current pace, over 90% to keep it.

 

Anyone got Dick Smith involved? As a local private airfield owner and recreational flyer I'm sure he'd get on board...or maybe he's keen to buy it, surely 2 airfields are better than one :)

 

 

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Thank you for the vote!!

 

An airfield is so much more than just a place for a few locals to play - it has nationwide significance!

 

I've been in contact with Dick's office and was informed he was overseas for a few weeks. His assistant said she'd try and get word to him. The local Paper would be more than happy i'd think to run a story with his photo.

 

Today's paper stated that they do not think the airport should be sold so it's nice to have them on our side.

 

 

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Tim, you might want to point out to the Council during your BBQ that there would be many more aircraft coming along but APEC means that a lot of pilots can't get out of Sydney if they haven't registered or if they don't have a transponder. Say that Goulburn is one of the closest airports to Sydney that is fully operational during APEC.

 

I agree absolutely on the safety aspect - people can drop in there when the weather closes in (as it often does). I've done this myself, and there were several other aircraft there that couldn't get through. Many of the pilots actually ended up staying overnight in Goulburn (so more money for the area!)

 

The airport is also used extensively for instrument training for pilots from Sydney, Canberra and much further affield.

 

Have the councillors seen the 16 Right DVD? If not, it would be a good idea to set up a DVD player and run it during the BBQ. It really stresses the importance of airports to the local community, shows the employment it generates, and also mentions the affect that the airport closures have had. It's beautifully shot with lovely, real human interest stories. Maybe after seeing that the Council will see the benefits of actually improving the facilities there and utilising the airport more? It could be used by the racing guys using Wakefield Park, the Police, for the prison, plus local businesses. Not to mention fire fighters, parachuting and general joy flights/tourism.

 

 

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