Member for McPherson Karen Andrews MP has written to the Department of Infrastructure expressing her strong opposition to any further extension of the current airport curfew exemption that has been provided to Qantas for freight flights.
“There has been an exemption in place to help address supply chain issues during the pandemic,” Mrs Andrews explained. “This is due to expire in April 2022.”
“This temporary exemption allowed four freight flights per week to arrive within the curfew period (11pm-6am) and was particularly relevant when the state government closed the Queensland-NSW border.
“With travel restrictions and border closures ceasing in recent months we will now see an ongoing restoration of flights and of other freight networks over the coming months.
“I strongly believe it’s inappropriate to allow an ongoing permanent breech of the curfew.
“Southern Gold Coast residents have a long history of working constructively and living harmoniously with the Gold Coast Airport operations and expansions.
“I encourage local residents to join me by making their own submission to protect the curfew at Gold Coast Airport.”
All submissions can be made via email to: email@example.com.
Mrs Andrews’ full statement is below.
SUBMISSION – GOLD COAST AIRPORT CURFEW EXEMPTION EXTENSION
On behalf of the residents of the southern Gold Coast I write to express my strong opposition to any further extension of the current airport curfew exemption that has been provided to Qantas for freight flights, which is due to expire in April 2022.
Having worked closely on supply chain challenges during the pandemic, I am extremely cognisant of the fact that alternative freight arrangements have been necessary to ensure supply at a time when regular flights have been severely disrupted.
At the height of the pandemic, it was understandable that the exemption was deemed necessary.
With travel restrictions and border closures ceasing in recent months we will now see an ongoing restoration of flights and of other freight networks over the coming months.
I therefore strongly believe it is inappropriate to allow an ongoing permanent breech of the curfew.
Southern Gold Coast residents have a long history of working constructively and living harmoniously with the airport operations and expansions – and there is no doubt the curfew has a key role in this continuing community cohesion.
Southern Gold Coast residents have been understanding and accepting of the challenging circumstances that led to the exemption for these freight flights – but that acceptance is based on the knowledge that these will not be kept in place beyond April 1.
I do not believe it is fair or equitable to extend the exemption to the end of the year.
Measures that have been put in place for special circumstances during the pandemic cannot be allowed to become “the new normal”. This is especially the case with the Gold Coast airport curfew.
If exemptions are allowed to continue, it makes a mockery of the concept of a curfew. The Department must give due weight to the amenity of local residents and the ongoing community cohesion on the southern Gold Coast.
I trust that the integrity of the curfew will now be restored and that no further ongoing exemption will be allowed.
Karen Andrews MP
Member for McPherson