RAAF reviews bombing range
THE RAAF is reviewing its status of the Evans Head bombing range thanks to intervention by Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin and objections by the Evans Head Marine Management Committee.
Ms Saffin was recently contacted by Air Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin to arrange a community consultation day.
“Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin came to see me last Tuesday to discuss a community consultation plan,” Ms Saffin said.
“He is sending the head of the Hornets to meet us and with a small group we will visit the site.”
Local veterinarian Dr Rod Blake, who is also Evans Head Marine Management Committee president, is not too confident in the outcome.
“I hope they don’t make out like they are having community consultations and then go ahead and do what they want anyway,” he said.
“Evans Head has plenty of instances where community consultations have been meaningless.”
A spokesman for the Department of Defence confirmed that the old F111 planes used lightweight practice bombs on the Evans Head range.
With the introduction of the F18 Super Hornet the area for practice will need to be much larger.
The gazetted area extends 10 kilometres over water being 11 kilometres wide at the widest point.
Dr Blake said tourism might be affected in Evans Head along with the fishing industry.
“People won’t come because they won’t know where the boundaries are where they can fish,” he said.
“Evans Head’s heritage is fishing and it was the first prawning port in NSW.”