UNCERTAIN: Queensland Recreation Aircraft Association president Kelvin Hutchinson (front) with life members Bill and Val Wilkinson are concerned about the lack of consultation from Ergon Energy.
UNCERTAIN: Queensland Recreation Aircraft Association president Kelvin Hutchinson (front) with life members Bill and Val Wilkinson are concerned about the lack of consultation from Ergon Energy.

In the ‘flying’ line of proposed Route 5 powerline

THE Warwick Gliding Club is concerned about the lack of consultation in regards to the proposed Route 5 powerline.

Warwick Gliding Club tug master Val Wilkinson said the club was largely in the dark over potential issues which would be caused by the powerline, depending on where it is placed within a 2km corridor.

"We are not sure where they are likely to go," Mrs Wilkinson said.

"That's one of our biggest concerns.

"We only just became aware of the powerlines potentially going near the airport two weeks ago and that's really upsetting."

Mrs Wilkinson said Warwick was an important airfield for the region.

"Warwick is a very safe airfield," she said.

"Both Toowoomba and Stanthorpe airfields tend to get quite foggy at times so Warwick has always been a great airfield.

"It's very handy if someone needs to make an emergency landing because of a lack of fuel."

One concern raised has been the safety of gliders, with some residents saying they have seen gliders land in their paddocks due to emergencies.

"It is a bit of a concern if the powerlines are there," Mrs Wilkinson said.

"The north side of the airfield is ideal for emergency landings."

However, Mrs Wilkinson said gliding would continue regardless.

"The powerlines would not stop gliders from training at the airfield," she said.

"It may stop gliding competitions because they often fly in with a bit of energy (speed).

"But even then with a bit of briefing for the instructors, they would most likely continue to go ahead.

"In saying that, I just think it would be a real shame to put those dangers around an airfield."

The Southern Downs Regional Council is responsible for consulting with Ergon Energy as they are the operators of the Massie Aerodrome.

Council director of business and community services David Tuxford said council had been consulted by Ergon.

"The Mayor Peter Blundell and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Roach were consulted by Ergon as part of their process however council has not been provided with the exact location of the powerline as the consultation phase is still occurring," Mr Tuxford said.

"Ergon have asked council to provide the CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) rating of the airport and this will then dictate to Ergon the distance and obstacle compliance regime they need to meet.

"Currently the CASA rating is a 2C and council's master plan for the airport will move to a 3C. Council has written to Ergon providing this information.

"Council will continue to be part of the consultation process and provide further information as required."

Aside from the safety concerns, residents have also questioned whether the powerlines would prohibit any future expansion to the airfield, should it be required.

However Mr Tuxford said council was confident the powerlines would not prohibit future expansion.

"Council is of the understanding that the powerline will not cause impediment to future growth of the Warwick airport," he said.



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