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68volksy

Goulburn Airport Sale

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The local member is the mayors best mate. We haven't approached him just yet but it also looks like he won't be getting re-elected so who knows.

 

 

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Have a chat with the other candidates for the seat, they might be keen on trying to attract votes from an interested group.

 

 

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Sale of facility.

 

In the promo, on the council site, I wonder if they would be prepared to highlight the fact that they are proposing to put the Township of 40,000 back into the dark ages by depriving it of an existing facility, which would be considered to be an asset in most circumstances. Of course they wouldn't.

 

There is FOI, though it can usually be stalled. If there was some serious doubt over the legality of the sale it would make it a little harder to sell. I'd still go the legal road.

 

Find out what rights you have to examine files and records, (council) You may find that they are considerable. Is there a local ratepayer's group, or has there been one in the past? Talk to the councillors who are against the sale, and do it off the record. You may find out more that way

 

Go back to the media if you think that will help. Although you cannot predict what they will say. Past performance is your only guide there. Keep going ... Nev...

 

 

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Guest pelorus32

I'm no expert here...however as I understand it most of these airports were owned by the Federal government and at some point were handed over to local councils ON THE BASIS that they couldn't be sold.

 

Vaile as Minister has shown a degree of reluctance to enforce these obligations on Councils as I understand it. The courts may not of course be so reluctant.

 

It would be worth contacting the crowd who have been fighting the battle at Evans Head as I understand that this was the basis for the fight with their Council.

 

I may of course be simply suffering from dementia!!

 

Regards

 

Mike

 

 

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More......

 

AOPA aus. have been involved with Bankstown & Evans Head. I don't think it would be a waste of time to give Tim Blatch a call.. N...

 

 

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The government withdrew from those deeds in 1992. It was not publicised. The only remaining condition is that the department needs to be told if the airport is not going to be an airport any more.

 

The consortiums that are sniffing around here would have friends in high places though which scares us. The Council tried to feed us a whole heap of bull about a transport operator wanting to start freighting stuff from here. We said if that was the case why would they bother buying the place when they can use it and have Council maintain it. And why aren't they doing it already? They honestly had not thought of that...

 

I've been in touch with Tim Blatch. He helped as much as he could. The main problem here (and this is Goulburn to a tea) is that no-one in town really cares. It's a town consumed by apathy. When it comes to people fighting this you're looking at me and my father. We get the odd question about whether Council still wants to sell the airport but that's about it.

 

We're doing as much as two people who work full time and are still learning to fly can.

 

 

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Personally I'm really grateful to you and your dad for all the work you guys have put in on this one. Without your efforts it would be a done deed already, and the public in goulburn probably wouldn't even have noticed.

 

so - thanks heaps.

 

 

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Guest High Plains Drifter

I hope no news is good news - any updates ?

 

 

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Pre-tender meeting yesterday made me very embarressed to be a resident of Goulburn. The Council employees are pretty much incompetent and had given no thought to any of the questions that were raised. Simple ones like "do landholders pay rates to Council or the airport owner for the sewage system". The airport has its own sewer system which Council is still undecided on whether they are selling or not...

 

It seems that the owner of the 15-year old "new" motel will be the most likely candidate. They spread a great deal of concern amongst those there yesterday. Also a lot of questions such as "Can the airport owner charge parking fees from the moment a plane enters a taxiway from a private hanger?" If anyone knows of someone who owns a hanger or land out there they should be very concerned. There is no requirement to keep the toilet block - it will be sold with the airport for starters. Also, most of the questions were along the lines of what rights to those landholders have and most of Councils answers were "none".

 

 

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Tenders for Goulburn Airport closed today. After all the issues over the tender period and Council's seemingly incompetent staff doing their best to scare people away from tendering they managed to get a sum total of 2 tenders. There were over 20 expressions that went out - about 18 to serious contenders.

 

1 tender was from the developer of the 100-odd hectare distribution park 200 metres from the airport. Only 1 guess what he wants to do with it - he declined to be interviewed for the paper.

 

The other tender was from a consortium wishing to set up a flying academy. Why they feel they need to own an airport in order to run a flying school I cannot guess. They have stated that the motel on site would play a role in the academy providing high quality accomodation on-site. So i'm guessing they're tied in with the motel owner. It could be good for the club but I can guarantee there will not be any legal method put in place by Council to ensure that we can still access the airport or that the academy will even happen.

 

We have some hope in a new government coming into play but I must say it's very slim. I still find it hard to believe that no-one I have spoken to knows that the Federal Government removed all those airport deeds that were in place to protect general aviation. It was a simple letter from Mark Vaile to all Councils stating "we remove our rights under these deeds". This is why the airports of this country are being sold - the government had no interest in making airports available to the public. Anyway the new government could be very much the same. Let's just hope they aren't as sneaky as the old one at least and that people know when these things happen!

 

 

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I would see the flying academy option as a positive, it's likely to improve the focus on aviation in the region as well as improve airfield and its facilities (pavement, lighting, navigation facilities etc.) for everyone and it would be highly unlikely that they'd deny access.

 

To be honest, my first thought went the sale was being discussed was "wouldn't it be good to buy it and set it up for the booming international flying school market"...obviously some others with the $$$ had the same idea.

 

Guess we'll have to continue to wait and see what the future holds...wouldn't count on the government doing anything...positive or negative.

 

Cheers,

 

Matt.

 

 

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I think the flying academy could be good.

 

What I'd suggest is to immediately write to the new Minister for Transport (Anthony Albanese). Whilst I thought in general the Coalition aviation policy looked better, the Labor policy did say that it wants to improve GA and flying training. I know when Martin Ferguson was Shadow Minister he had an interest in keeping GA airports open.

 

Right now could be a good time to contact Albanese.

 

 

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The Flying Acadamey could be great. If Council could tie them in to actually doing it. From my research there is a decided shortage of pilots - including instructors. How they think they will get enough instructors in this region to train 200 pilots is anyones guess. They will have hurdles but what I would like to see is Council making several items a condition of the sale. First and foremost that the purchaser will do what they say they will do. Second but just as important is that they will do it within a set time limit. Anyone who has visited Goulburn Airport knows of the motel that was started in 1991 and still remains incomplete. We have reason to believe the same company is behind the flying school.

 

It can't really be that hard for Council to implement some sort of contractual obligation on a future owner to set some things in concrete.

 

 

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Guest airsick

Just doing an internet search to see if I could find out what happened with the airport sale and came across this:

 

http://goulburn.local-e.nsw.gov.au/news/pages/5517/NewsDoc/LandStatusConfirmedatAirport.pdf

 

Seems whoever buys the airport has to keep operating it as an airport. This might have been mentioned earlier in the thread so apologies if I missed it but I see this as a positive.

 

On another note why not have a fly in. Seems to me that there is a bit of support for the airport so I am sure a fly in would be well attended. I know I would come across from Canberra for the day...

 

 

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That document we found shows the true benefit of Public Relations working at their best. The meeting where the airport was declared "operational" land was instigated in order to have the land classified as community. It is only operational land that can be sold. Community land must be held by Council for the benefit of the community. The community classification is much more suited to the airport due to its long history, the fact it was a gift to Council from the original landholders and its value during the 30's and the 2nd world war.

 

The continuing to operate statement goes no further than what you see written. There is nothing to elaborate on it. Does an airport that only allows freight planes still qualify as an airport? Does an airport with landing fees of $100 per touch and go still qualify? Does an airport with no aircraft parking, toilets or fuel facilities still qualify?

 

I am sorry but this really gets my goat - the Council keeps making these broad, appeasing statements which nobody seems to look past. They sold the saleyards here in town with the same "It has to continue to operate as a saleyards" statement and they tried to take the new owner to court because he didn't do what he said he would. Needless to say the court kicked it out saying the land was privately owned and Council had no say in the matter.

 

The Aero Club offered for many years to take care of the maintenance of the airport (Council's only outgoing) which would result in the airport costing Council nothing (they can cover insurance and resealing with landing fees. Unfortunately Council is more interested in the $1.2million. Quite a bargain from a buyers point of view. You're hard pressed to buy a rural lot of that size that close to town.

 

 

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I was actually going to say - keep forgetting my goal when I get on the damn soapbox!

 

The flying school has been asked to proceed to the 2nd stage of the tender process. Council has set the March Council meeting (18th?) for their final decision. Some details are leaking out but picking the true ones is proving quite diffciult. The $1.2mill number has been touted by many people and seems reasonable. Considering the mayor told us at the start of last year they thought it was worth $3-5mill i'm a little astonished they're proceeding with such a small offer but considering they only received 2 offers after the absolute shambles the 1st stage proved it's not a real surprise. They almost sold it for $1mill a couple of years ago until bringing in the ICAC started being mentioned...

 

Basically the community is allowed to know nothing until the decision is made.

 

 

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Guest airsick

Apologies if I stirred up some trouble. On the surface I took it as a bit of a positive note.

 

 

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It's not a worry. Unfortunately that document you found was the last nail in the coffin for those of us who wanted the airport kept by Council. We had to involve lawyers to get it there and still could push it further but unfortunately the club is a little short of funds so we had to stop the legal challenge where we did.

 

 

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Guest airsick

Well a fly in should be organised! Have a $10 fee to support the Goulburn airport efforts. Like I said earlier, I would happily come along (and pay the fee). I am sure others here would too.

 

I think as a flying community (GA, RA, what ever) it is in our best interests to band together and support causes like this one. And make it visible so the wider community is aware of what is happening.

 

:)

 

 

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To avoid another snafu like the saleyard fiasco, is it possible to have Council place a caveat on the title ensuring it's future as an airport?

 

Later removal of the caveat (to allow some use of the land) would then presumably necessitate a hearing in which the original owners/ lodger of the caveat (and that being a Council, it should also then include interested parties) would have to give a statement either supporting the removal of the caveat, or a rebuttal (which might or might not be accepted by the hearing)?

 

 

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