Kingston Council has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to refuse approval of a draft Moorabbin Airport masterplan under the Commonwealth Airports Act.

Moorabbin Airport is regularly listed as the second busiest airport in Australia, and plays an important industry role, training approximately 29 per cent of Australia’s pilots.

Moorabbin also provides critical links to Tasmania, King Island, rural and regional New South Wales, and South Australia.

Kingston Council and local aviation representatives have been advocating to the Federal Government over many months to refuse the draft plan due to concerns, which include:  

  • significant safety risks posed by commercial buildings being built close to airport runways
  • allowing large-scale factories to be built metres from adjoining established homes
  • reduced land for aviation purposes compromising the medium to longer term intent of the land for aviation
  • inability to provide surety of tenure for aviation businesses whose survival is reliant on existing on the airport site.

The airport site is leased to the Moorabbin Airport Corporation (MAC) by the Federal Government, and the Airports Act requires it be maintained for aviation purposes. 

But Kingston Mayor, Steve Staikos, said the draft masterplan proposed by MAC continued the trend of previous masterplans that facilitated substantial non-aviation development, further threatening to squeeze out aviation businesses.

“We welcome the Australian Government’s refusal of the proposed masterplan and believe it sends a clear signal in support of the local aviation industry,” Cr Staikos said.

“We want to see adequate space set aside around runways to ensure safety and secure a strong future for aviation businesses, plus see much tighter controls to limit commercial development near neighbouring homes.

“We believe the decision at Moorabbin Airport is an important one for local governments around Australia who have a strong role to play in enhancing aviation policy.”

Kingston’s Chicquita Ward Councillor, Tracey Davies, said Council and the Moorabbin Chamber of Commerce were pleased their concerns were directly heard by the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, and Senator Susan McDonald, through the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Senate hearing, which is examining Australia’s general aviation industry. 

Cr Davies said the support of the Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus, has also been critical to reinforce that much work still needs to be done to deliver the benefits intended through airport deregulation.  

“We were proud to also work with the Moorabbin Airport Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and I would like to particularly acknowledge the support provided by Adrianne Fleming of Tristar Aviation, to raise important safety issues and support our local business community,” Cr Davies said. 

“We now look forward to working with MAC, the Moorabbin Airport Chamber of Commerce and the Australian Government to develop an enhanced plan that meets the needs of the aviation industry and neighbouring residents.”

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