House debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Constituency Statements

Airport Noise

10:12 am

Photo of Trevor EvansTrevor Evans (Brisbane, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management) Share this | | Hansard source

Since the opening of Brisbane Airport's second runway, many Brisbane residents have been bearing the brunt of excessive and unreasonable aircraft flight noise from new flight paths overhead, so I've been fighting hard for Brisbane residents on this issue to ensure that these concerns are heard and addressed. I welcome the recent tabling here in the parliament of a petition signed by over 2,000 residents of Greater Brisbane, many of whom are constituents in the electorate of Brisbane, expressing their frustration at the level of noise and disruption they're experiencing. I also welcome the recent report by the Commonwealth Aircraft Noise Ombudsman which vindicates what residents have been saying in two key respects: there were inadequacies over a long period of time and in the consultation and engagement process with the community, and the reality of the new runway in operation is not consistent with what some suburbs were led to believe they would experience. I want to thank the Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance for their work on both fronts and for continuing to meet and work with me so constructively.

My focus continues to be on finding real and practical solutions to reduce unnecessary and unreasonable noise. When the Airservices post-implementation review of the new runway was brought forward, which was a good decision, I made a submission containing 10 potential solutions and ideas that might help residents. They included the establishment of a new independent body to hold operators and regulators to higher account. I'm pleased to say that the new body, called the Brisbane Airport community forum, has now been established and is up and running. Importantly, the forum is independent of the airport operators and the regulators. It is running a process separate to the Airservices PIR, but ultimately, of course, it can feed solutions into the Airservices PIR when appropriate. What we needed to do was to up-end the governance, to put the emphasis back on experts to answer community concerns and to work on proposals, because it was entirely unreasonable to expect residents and laypeople to have to become the aviation experts and to find ideas and drive for this sort of change.

Right now, the forum is taking direct submissions from the public as well as bringing in the experts to work on potential solutions. I recommend that any resident from anywhere around Brisbane, not just the electorate of Brisbane, who's been impacted by aircraft noise gets involved in the forum process and makes a submission. Submissions are still open. I'm looking forward to the first report from the community forum. I hope it contains ultimately good recommendations for real practical actions and change that can help to ensure that Brisbane remains the very best place in Australia to live, to work, to play, to raise a family, to start a business and to retire.