Time to buzz off
NOOSA'S days as helicopter flight central could be coming to an end after Member for Noosa and Minister Assisting the Premier Glen Elmes this week "tasked" local state agencies to find somewhere else for them to buzz.
This promises a breakthrough for locals who increasingly feel besieged from above as airspace in and around the Teewah landing strip has been increasingly used for commercial chopper pilot training.
Mr Elmes hailed the outcomes of a Wednesday meeting he had with Sunshine Coast Council staff, Councillor Tony Wellington and state department reps.
The Tewantin council chamber gathering included bureaucrats from the Departments of Environment and Heritage Protection, Natural Resources and Mines, National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing, State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry.
"Where I'd like to see this finish up is that the entire block of land (the airstrip reserve) that's involved be put into the national park estate with ongoing and defined permission for model flyers and the hang glider to continue on," Mr Elmes told the Noosa News after the event.
"And ongoing use for emergency helicopters so if you have a problem there you can get in and get them out.
"It's been a long, very, very slow process and I'm going to really be hunting the various state agencies and the council as best I can to come up with a solution."
Mr Elmes said the get- together was triggered by helicopter flyovers affecting locals as far west as Eumundi and others along the coast.
"We've been getting increasing levels of complaints over the weeks and months - people are just having their peace and tranquillity destroyed," the minister said.
"The decision on the landing strip at Teewah both by Cabinet in 1992 and by the Noosa North Shore Working Group in 2003 was use was to be limited to model flyers and the hang gliders and for helicopters.
"If you go back that far what that use would be would be use by what is now the AGL rescue helicopter or Westpac or Emergency Services Queensland.
"It's gotten completely out of hand and it's got completely away from the spirit of what the original intention for use was."
Mr Elmes said as a resident of Noosaville he was well aware of the level of flyovers and while they were not at low altitutde directly over his place, the noise certainly was not conducive to Noosa's laidback lifestyle.