Reliant on legal structures to ignore legitimate needs of the local community
During his presentation, Mr Cronin claimed his business will help the community but his actions show his interests lie in what is allowed by law, not the legitimate needs of the local community.
Mr Cronin made it clear the court had approved his development adding there was now no further legal avenue of appeal .
"It might be legal but that doesn't mean it is moral, ethical or acceptable to the residents of Mission Beach who have an expectation they can live in peace and quiet and not be disturbed by noisy intrusive helicopter activity". said Ms Gallie. "Legal processes are easily available to a wealthy developer to intimidate the local community into putting up with the unacceptable"
"Wooing the public with a promise of local benefits through tourism transfers from Cairns and Townsville to Dunk Island and Bedarra and a feel good focus on emergency services belies the true impact Mission Helicopters aerodrome will have on our small community".
Mission Helicopers is not a boutique business servicing our nature sensitive tourist town. said Ms Gallie. " In Mr Cronins 'DNA' as he puts it, is the ability to establish Kestrel Aviation, one of Australia's largest fleets of specialist multi-role helicopters in Australia.
This trojan horse will be bringing all the helicopter activities in the following list, with work for;
Given this extensive list of helicopter activites made legal through the court order, it is difficult to understand what was meant in C4's media release following their withdrawal from the appeal when President Peter Rowles said: “We were not able to stop the helicopter base altogether but we were able to secure some more favourable conditions governing its operation".
No law or regulation exists to limit aviation activity
The Air Services Noise and complaints information service know how disturbing helicopter activity is but concede that no law or regulations exists to limit any type of aviation activity. This fact was established during the appeal negotiations between C4 and Mission Helicopters and highlighted in Mr Cronins presentation.
The negotiations relied on the willingness of each party to reach an agreement. The community expectation was any agreement would only be acceptable if it addressed their well voiced concerns. Failing a suitable mediation outcome, it was believed the appeal would continue to a court hearing.
The outcome was not what the community was looking for. The appeal against the Council’s approval was withdrawn in favour of a negotiated agreement. The approval and conditions were based on an agreed noise level and other compromises during the mediation.
How much noise do Robinson 444 and Bell Long Ranger helicopters make? "Most certainly Mr Cronin knows" said Ms Gallie. "Who was responsible for establishing the noise level the trials were assessed against"? "Who decided the noise level generated from either of the two medium size helicopters used in the trials and now allowed to operate from 2224 Tully Mission Beach Road was acceptable"? "Why was Mr Cronin allowed to pilot the helicopters during the trials"?
"Who was responsible for the decision that 120 helicopter take offs and landings anytime of any day in the heart of Mission Beach was acceptable"?
These questions go unanswered as the community was not involved or consulted during the negotiations nor did the conditions agreed to and ordered by the court address the community concerns. The matter was not taken to court.
One of the court ordered conditions is the flight path. Flight paths cannot be enforced as they are determined by the pilot and dependant on weather conditions at the time. Likewise, it is left to the heliport operator to consider any impacts on sensitive areas such as national park and residential areas. Mr Cronin has not acknowledged or made any attempt to address these community concerns.
Local Council Assessment process fails community
Aircraft noise and/or environment impacts are usually managed within the development application with impact statements. The local council failed to consider the impacts of the development on the residents, and important wildlife and environment at Mission Beach.
CASA encourages fly friendly agreements to be considered by council and with the helipad operator and local residents during the assessment process. There has been no mention of a fly friendly agreement either during the initial development approval or during the appeal.
An industrial business with Mission Helicopters legal capability located in the heart of Mission Beach villages at 2224 Tully Mission Beach Road will undermine community sense of place and the foundations of a tourism economy built on the points of difference at Mission Beach.
The local planning scheme, the development assessment process, and any moral obligation Mr Cronin may have, has completely failed the Mission Beach community and the expectation their peaceful lifestyle, environment and important wildlife is protected.
Buy Back for 2224 Tully Mission Beach Road
Mr Cronin is aware of the social division and ongoing anxiety and stress his proposal has caused to members of the community.
The petition asking Mr Cronin to please fly elsewhere now has 314 signatures. The petition comments explain the community concerns.
If Mr Cronin has a commitment to the community as he claims, why did he avoid questions at the MBCA meeting and why has he not responded to our open letter?
2224 Tully Mission Beach Rd is a strategic rehabilitation area most suited to a property buy back to establish a robust cassowary corridor and allowing opportunity for the rural land to be developed appropriately, for example, a high value niche cropping/ farm tourism venture.
Mission Beach Cassowaries
No Helicopters Here campaign
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This website is managed by Mission Beach Cassowaries inc to share information about the No Helicopters Here campaign against the approval of A HELICOPTER BASE on 2224 Tully Mission Beach Road.
Court appeal chronology
28th February 2022.
C4 entered into a compromise settlement with Mission Helicopters. The appeal did not proceed to a court hearing.
3rd December 2021
The appeal was reviewed. Judge Morzone ordered (above) the appellant (C4) to provide a list of matters they wish to be considered for inclusion in the proposed conditions attached to any approval of the development application.
3rd September 2021
Order (above) made by his Honour Judge Morzone QC.
Appeal review listed for 3 December 2021
6th August 2021
Court ordered MH to respond to C4 correspondence by August 15th. Appeal review listed for 3rd September.
3rd June 2021
Grounds on which Mission Helicopters, as co respondent , defended the appeal .
5th Mar 2021
C4 filed to appeal the Heliport approval decision