Kempsey Council vote unanimously in favour of community workshops regarding Kempsey Airport pilot school development application

Kempsey airport.

Kempsey airport.

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Kempsey Shire Councillors have voted unanimously in favour of community workshops, as soon as reasonably possible, where council will outline the present situation at Kempsey Airport regarding the Australian International Aviation College’s (AIAC) development application.

The decision, made at council’s meeting on Tuesday, May 16, “will enable full dialogue with the community on all issues” regarding the airport, according to the council papers. 

Save Kempsey Airport Action Group’s Adam Ulrick spoke ahead of the council meeting on the development application, again lashing council for a perceived lack of consultation throughout the process. He also emphasised that the Fly Neighbourly Agreement, which council voted on in April, only addressed one of a multitude of issues surrounding the DA. 

It's long overdue, but it's a small step forward - Save Kempsey Airport Action Group spokesperson Adam Ulrick on the community workshops

After the meeting, Mr Ulrick said that the resolution on community workshops was “long overdue” and a “small step forward”.  

“We’re happy that council has finally recognised the need for community consultation,” Mr Ulrick told the Argus. 

“Noise is just one component that needs to be addressed.”

Mr Ulrick said he hoped that council management as well as councillors would attend the workshops.  

Kempsey Shire Mayor Liz Campbell said the unanimous vote showed councillors’ understanding of the need for discussion in-person.  

“Council understands that the communication channels need to be broadened and opened to give people a chance to have face-to-face communication,” Cr Campbell said.  

Cr Campbell said the process of deciding a venue and a moderator would take several weeks. 

“How the meetings will get together and take place will be progressed over the next six to eight weeks.” 

The AIAC DA would enable up to 250 pilots to learn their trade at Kempsey airport.

In March, the regulatory body overseeing the DA, the Joint Regional Planning Panel, voted that the application be deferred pending further reports addressing noise impacts, health, safety, and traffic issues, and potential contaminated land issues. 

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