Bega Valley residents hold public meeting over Frogs Hollow flight school concerns

FLIGHT FIGHT: Ian Gordon address the crowd at Wolumla Hall on Wednesday evening regarding the proposed Chinese flight school at Frogs Hollow.
FLIGHT FIGHT: Ian Gordon address the crowd at Wolumla Hall on Wednesday evening regarding the proposed Chinese flight school at Frogs Hollow.

A crowd of 170 concerned residents attended a public meeting about the Frogs Hollow flight school at Wolumla Town Hall on Wednesday.

The group voiced their objection to the $10.4million investment by Sports Aviation Flight College Australia.

Ian Gordon, who lives two kilometres from the end of the runway, hosted the public meeting. He said the school was the equivalent of a new town being developed on his doorstep. 

“Our number one aim tonight is to stop the college being built,” he said. 

“And our goal is to share our concern and angst about it with our council.” 

The microphone was opened to the audience, who primarily spoke of noise concerns

Other concerns included reduced privacy, loss of organic certification for nearby farms, unrealistic and dishonest development plans, heightened crash risks and suspicions of Chinese investment. 

At the meeting, attendees were provided resources to send a submission to council objecting the development, including templates, background information and relevant contact details.

Scott Toohey lives less than a kilometre from the runway. He said Bega Valley considering the flight school was an “identity crisis”. 

“The Bega Valley council has made an environmental plan for itself, it values rural living, agriculture and self sufficiency,” he said. 

“So how does a huge development, with planes using litres and litres of fuel everyday, fit into those ideals?”

Steve Jackson also spoke at the meeting. He is behind the Bega Valley Residents Against Frogs Hollow Chinese Flying School Facebook page that already has over 250 likes. 

Offline, Mr Jackson has also printed and delivered 3000 flyers across the region. He argued the whole Bega Valley is affected by the school because it is essentially an unrestricted airspace.

“We are playing a numbers game,” Mr Jackson said. 

“We need to show council we object to this proposal by putting it in writing.” 

Submissions from the community are open between November 15 and December 6.