One small frog v Developers

26 Oct

My apologies gentlemen for a very long Sunday ramble, but I really am getting pissed off with blatant ignoring of corruption. Anyway, to the Sunday ramble:  Just finished reading through a submission sent to the CEO of Banstown Airport by Bankstown City council, many passing strange questions came to mind.

But there are so many “Passing strange” questions regarding aviation in Australia, e.g. our regulators relationship with their bastard child the ATSB, which produces imponderable investigation into accidents, allegedly to garner the why’s and wherefore’s to establish frameworks which, hopefully, prevent re-occurrence; but, in fact produce spin doctored reports reflecting the opinion of whichever sky god is occupying the throne at CAsA.

Our regulator seems hell bent on going it alone; utilizing fraudulent incompetents to write a never-ending stream of gobbledygook legislation ignoring the objections of those they regulate and considerable evidence that what they are doing is destroying our industry.  A graphic illustration perhaps, I was told even Qantas is employing pilots from Bangladesh on 457 visa’s.

Is this the end game for aviation in this country? Our young people shut out of our domestic market and internationally disadvantaged, simply because they cannot obtain the qualification required through CAsA regulations pricing them out of the market.

Our TAIF’s and equivalents are shutting down their courses in aviation engineering. Apparently that is why there are so few candidates and even fewer graduates, CAsA is exporting our engineering expertise overseas. To quote the Victorian government.

Quote:“Because all aircraft maintenance will be carried out overseas”.

The average age of LAME’s is growing to the extent that today they are fulfilling our previous treasurers belief that old age is a “lifestyle choice” . Even then, many are simply giving up under the weight  of ridiculous rules which ride roughshod over their vast experience and skills.
Constantly threatened with criminal sanction by illogical, incompetent Numpies who wouldn’t know a spanner from a spark-plug, and who could blame them?  When all that experience and skill is gone it can never be replaced.

It is becoming obvious there is a willful conspiracy within bureaucracy and government to rid this country of all aviation except RPT and the sky gods, the big question is why?  I have no idea.   There just seems no logical explanation for the willful neglect by government.  The lure of the holy dollar would be a prime suspect; perhaps the privatisation of our airports sheds  a glimmer of light.

There are a lot of dots out there that point to corruption, they just need joining up, we are finally seeing some action with the Air Services audit.  What has happened to our airports has been much more subtle and over a greater time period

There was a time when airports in Australia were considered National Assets, vital for the defence of our country. Many were hurriedly built or improved during the second world war largely to provide emergency landing grounds for far less sophisticated aircraft than today. In the USA that philosophy remains: but, most of their airports were constructed by the army corps of engineers to a very high standard looking to the future when they might be required by very heavy and sophisticated aircraft. Ours were largely built in a rush to accommodate DC 3’s. Except for our primary airports there has been very little improvement since the second world war.

When our government decided our airports were no longer a national asset and sought to dispose of them a Murky Mandarin and his sidekick Beaker were charged with their disposal.

Sale of primary airports were a no brainer. Monopolies generating huge amounts of cash which clever lawyers and accountants could massage into tax free havens were manna from heaven for McBank.

Country airports were no bother either, simply give them back to the local councils and let them worry about the costs, for there are no profits.

Capital city secondary airports were a somewhat different proposition.

Old beaker and Murky realised that for airports without the massive flow of tax free dollars they didn’t have much to sell, the airports barely broke even. Which of them had the eureka epiphany we will probably never know until the final rewards are handed out.  But, consider this – those secondary airports were sitting on some very valuable real estate, green field development sites in the middle of capital cities, every development sharks wet dream.

Which brings me to the Bankstown council’s submission.  In its first observation it states.

Quote:1. Exhibition Process

Council is concerned that the exhibition process has not been conducted
As required under Division 4 of the airports act 1996.

The exhibited documents are predominately review documents that are based on referenced documents from previous development applications.
Some of the referenced documents date back to 2005 and are not exhibited, in particular the sight contamination and management plans. It is difficult to assess the entirety of the environmental impacts without the main investigation reports.

Further, the proponents has provided Council updated studies during the exhibition period without updating the exhibition website for the public.
There is inconsistency with the publicity exhibited documents and Council issued documents.

This has made it difficult for Council to reach any definitive conclusions on the matters of consideration.

Mr Minister, seems like people are breaking the law. As a minister of the crown is it not your duty to uphold the LAW?…Perhaps not the lure of the Holy Dollar is very hard to resist.

Quote:2.  Flood impacts

2.1  Flood study by DHI dated July 2015

The main aim of the 2015 flood study by DHI is to assess the proposed development layout, till levels and flood mitigation measures to a 2007 baseline condition (fill and infrastructure).

Council is concerned with the approach taken by DHI in preparing the flood report and provides the following comments:

2.1.1. Council does not support the use of  “scale flows” based on relative sizes of catchments as a valid approach. This is not an approach that is accepted by the stormwater industry.

2.1.2.  It is unclear if the flood modelling is consistent with Council’s adopted blockage policy.

2.1.3.  The 2007 baseline condition adopted does not allow the impacts from earlier filling to be determined, and associated impacts mitigated.

2.1.4. The BMT WBM Report dated June 2015 (version 5) implies that the ground levels of the north western portion of the Bankstown Business Estate have been modified. Council seek confirmation of the function and purposes of the modification to this area. Modelling of the impacts due to landform modifications should be undertaken.

2.1.5. Further information is required on the 375 mm culvert under Milperra Road to which the 6 x 1.5m culverts and overland flow path discharged to. Council remains concerned that filling and development of the Bankstown Business Estate has had an impact on flood levels around this culvert and 501 and 501A Milperra Road.

2.1.6. Section 6 of the report indicates the flood water has been redistributed on the northern side of the airport in the vicinity of the Rabaul Road drain. Council require that impacts on this drain are to pre-development levels as any exacerbation of existing impacts would not be appropriate and would be inconsistent with Council’s Development Control Plan which requires flood impacts are not transferred to other properties.

2.2  Draft Flood study by BMT WBM dated June 2015 (Version 5)

Council acknowledges that the draft flood study report provides an assessment of impacts stormwater flooding conditions based on the agreed flood model with Council. However it is also noted that the flood study by BMT WBM dated June 2015 (version 1) is the exhibited document. During the exhibition, a revised report (version 5) was sent to Council to review.

Council provides the following comments:

2.2.1. The report refers to and is complementary to a DHI report dated July 2014. It is noted that this DHI report has since been superseded twice by reports dated November 2014 and July 2015. BMT WBM should review the latest DHI report to ensure there are no omissions, and that the landforms, drainage infrastructure and mitigation measures are consistent with the DHI report. Further modelling may be required after this review.

2.2.2. Council does not support the recommended Mitigation Scenario 1. It is an analysis of the lowering of Council blockage policy, which requires that a blockage factor of 50% be applied to all culverts with a diagonal opening less than 6m. The analysis lowered the blockage factors applied to the existing and proposed culverts until there were no adverse flood impacts at Tower Road. This could only be achieved once the blockage of the existing culvert at Tower Road and proposed culverts under the car park were reduced to 0% and 35% respectively. Completely unblocked small culverts (less than 1.5m diameter) in 100 year ARI flood conditions is unachievable.

2.2.3.  Council’s blockage for culverts is used for modelling purposes to determine impacts of flooding and mitigating measures.

2.2.4. Flood Mitigation Scenario 4 is recommended as a minimum requirement as it was the only option to show reduced flood impacts at Tower Road.

2.2.5. The modelling shows adverse impacts between 0.1m – 0.2m and greater than 0.3m on the properties Nos. 501 and 501A Milperra Road respectively in the 20 year event when comparing the future to the current scenario. These properties are owned by Department of Lands. Appropriate mitigation measures should be devised and reported on to reduce these impacts.

Mr. Minister, there seems to be some questions about the environment here.

Is it true that un-remediated asbestos and radioactive contaminated fill been placed on a flood plain by persons or entities unknown. Without environmental approval other than that provided by themselves written on Federal government letterhead to imply the approval was government sanctioned?

Is it true that this contaminated fill was placed on top of buried live explosive ordinance, sewerage waste, carcinogenic substances from foam used by the airport fire service during training , along with thousands of litres of bunker oil used for dust suppression during the war?

It has been suggested that because of the damming affect caused by the destruction of the flood plain, if a major flood occurs the runways at Bankstown would disappear underwater, along with many houses both upstream and downstream of the airport.

Mr Minister, should this occur, who takes responsibility for compensation to those affected by what appears to be illegal environmental vandalism?

Just who did dump contaminated fill on the flood plain?

The current shark circling the airport seems to have been there for a lot longer than anyone thought, perhaps from the beginning.

Is there a long term relationship between this shark and the Murky mandarin?

Mr Minister is it true development Sharks are notorious for ignoring environmental standards. The one attempting to create an industrial nirvana at Bankstown airport allegedly employing thousands of shop assistants, is a past master at that.  Simply Google Leda and tweed heads should enlighten anyone of the depths to which they will stoop. Its an old scam, get the development started and to a point where its irreversible, plead ignorance, cop a slap on the wrist fine, or make a substantial contribution to a political party, then get on with it.

Has the Bankstown great white shark contributed to any Federal political party either directly or indirectly?

Mr Minister, is it true that to accommodate the development of the Southern side of Bankstown airport a runway had to be closed, a vital runway for the safe operation of Bankstown Airport as a training airport?

Did the ATSB do due diligence of the safety implications or simply accept the direction of its master the CEO of  CAsA?

Was this contrary to the lease signed by the Federal government?

Was stamp duty paid on that lease to the NSW government?  If not why not?

Who destroyed state government archives in relation to the sale of all three airports in the Sydney basin, one of which has already been destroyed and turned into an industrial nivarna.

Are there already complaint from local residents about thousands of trucks clogging their streets because of this development?

Was this contrary to the airports Act?  If so, Why and who authorised it?

Mr Minister, is it true that another inconvenient obstruction to the development sharks plans was the site of Bankstown’s radio Navigation Aid, a Non Directional beacon (NDB). Which would have required the expenditure of some $23 Million dollars to gain access to Milperra road.

Is it true that the Development shark  circling the airport made representation to Air services Australia to move the NDB?

Is it true the Air services Australia manager responsible for radio navigation aids declined the developers request?

Is it true that after he declined the request he was confronted by alleged anomalies in his expense account and was forced to resign?

Is it true that shortly after his departure the radio Aid was moved?

Mr Minister, Who paid for the movement of the Radio Aid at Bankstown Airport?

Has the Radio Aid be re-calibrated at its new location?  If not, why not?

If an accident occurs due to aircraft using an un-calibrated radio aid who is liable for compensation?

Council provides the following comments on the proposal;

Quote:3.2.  Uncertain provision of public transport infrastructure and services

The proponent has provided a ground transport plan, which includes a traffic impact study. This site is located away from an existing town centre with a train station, which is around 4km south at East Hills. Due to the isolated location of the proposed development, people will rely predominantly on private vehicles.

Council’s position is to rebalance the car dominated approach by providing services and infrastructure that also promotes public transport usage, walking and cycling

Council provides the following comments on the proposal :

3.2.1. The ground transport plan does not contain certainty that Transport of NSW and the private bus operators have agreed to propose bus stops or route adjustment. There is no certainty that the proposed bus stops will be constructed beyond the assessment of the major development plan.

3.2.2.  The proposed shared pathway within the site ignores the potential for an additional shared pathway connection along Milperra Road to the Council owed shared pathway at Kentucky Reserve.

3.2.3.  The ground transport plan must have certainty of the provision of services with the transport operators and a shared pathway network that logically support walking and cycling.

4.  Insufficient Impact assessment and management plans for threatened species

The draft plan proposes the main vehicle and a separate pedestrian access from Milperra Road through the Airport Reserve, and road widening on Milperra Road that encroaches on the Airport Reserve. Further, the draft plan seeks to remove an existing dam that has been identified as a potential habitat for endangered fauna.

The Airport Reserve is owned by the Crown and it is located between Milperra Road and the subject site. The Airport Reserve is known to contain Endangered Ecological Communities that are protected under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act). It contains endangered species of Cook’s River/ Castlereagh Ironbark Forest, Cumberland Swamp Oak Riparian Forest and Cumberland River – Flat Forest. The site may also contain the critically endangered plant called Hibbertia sp. and endangered Green & Golden Bell Frog.

Council provides the following comments on the proposal;

Quote:4.1.  The draft plan does not have sufficient impact studies and management plans to offset the impacts to the Endangered Ecological Communities (EEC) and other threatened species.

4.2.  The draft plan does not provide sufficient impact assessment of the EECs or Hibbertia sp. The proponents have provided a copy of the referenced document called “ Flora and Fauna Assessment and Ecological Impact Assessment for a proposed entrance driveway dated May 2011. The assessment recommends further investigation of Hibbertia sp.  within the Airport Reserve, subject to two locations of the proposed road access. Council has not been provided the outcome of the any further investigation for this species.

4.3. The potential habitat for Green & Golden Bell Frog has been identified in the natural creek in the Airport Reserve and the dam within the subject site. The draft plan proposes to remove the dam and pipe the creek under the proposed access road from Milperra Road. There is insufficient assessment on the impact of the removal and disruption of the habitat.

4.4.  The proponent must provide sufficient environmental impacts assessment based on Commonwealth and State legislations, and provide the necessary management plans for the affected sensitive areas in the Airport Reserve and the subject site.

5.  Heritage significance of the site

The draft plan does not identify the site as a heritage item. Bankstown Local Environment Plan 2015 lists the subject site as a locally significant heritage site, especially the significance of the Bankstown Aviation Museum located within the subject site.

A heritage assessment of the site must be completed as a part of the draft plan.

6.  Loss of flood storage in the Georges River and Milperra Drain Floodplains.

Since 2002, progressive filling of the subject site has occurred, which is located within both the Georges River and Milperra Drain Floodplains. In 2008, Sydney  Metro Airports allowed landfilling of approximately 26 hectares of the subject site. Sydney Metro Airports allowed landfilling to raise areas of the site above  the 1 in 100 year flood line to make the site flood free without off-setting the loss of flood storage and analysing off-site flood impacts.

As part of the Mid-Georges River Floodplain Study, Council and Sydney Metro Airports began a study to analyse the impacts of this filling on the Milperra Floodplain in 2014. It is acknowledged that this model is currently being used by LEDA Holdings in the flood impact assessment undertaken by BMT WBM.

However, to date the loss of flood storage in the Georges River Floodplain has not been addressed or an appropriate off-site impact flood analysis based on pre-2007 scenario been conducted.

Council recognises that Sydney Metro Airports has been working with Council on understanding the impact of fill within the Milperra sub-catchment and has agreed to explore options for mitigating the impacts of this past fill.

It is recommended that Sydney Metro Airports extend this work to the Georges River Floodplain. This is an opportunity to consider the pre-2007 scenario to understand the full flood impact of the proposed major development, including mitigation measures for the loss of flood storage areas. This approach is consistent with the scope of the flood study by DHI dated July 2015, which quotes the requirements by Sydney Metro Airports to LEDA holdings (a letter dated 24 March 2011) :

“Does not result in significant off-site flood impacts_ i.e. any flood storage area lost as a result of future development (post- 2005) on the airport will be accommodated on-site using 1:100 year ARI.”

Mr Minister, when are you going to assert control over your minions and start acting in the interests of those your portfolio covers?

When are you going to cease ignoring what is becoming more and more like rampant corruption?

 

As Gobbles would say – TICK TOCKCroc_frog

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