Merimbula Letters to the Editor, November 29

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

All for the joy riders

We have been living in the Bega Valley for over 35 years and have enjoyed the peaceful and quiet environment that rural living provides. The proposed flying school at Frogs Hollow will change the area considerably, particularly due to increased noise pollution and general traffic to and from the proposed facility. It is our view that if this project goes ahead it will change our immediate Toothdale environment as well as the Bega Valley generally as the impact of such a large out of scale proposal takes hold.

lt is likely that the population frustration and anger at such a proposal will increase to such a level that our present, relatively quiet and harmonious Bega Valley will change for the worst. Many people will be affected in such a way that their property values, including ours, will be drastically reduced and will be unable to move to a more pleasant location and this will be all for the sake of some joy riders who will come and go from the area after causing a lot of pain and suffering to those of us that live here.

Over recent years we have had sufficient time to enjoy the natural world in the Bega Valley, including our amazingly vast and magnificent bird life. These creatures, including the wedge-tailed eagle, have a right to inhabit our skies. What impact will be placed upon them from the vast amounts of noisy small aircraft? And if this proposal goes ahead the potential of extending our organic garden, including herbs and spices, to commercial use with a certificate is unlikely due to the overhead pollution. 

We also resent the fact that noisy low-flying aircraft will inevitably startle the horses and this is a dangerous situation when horse riding. Finally, the bottom (dollar) line, we have always thought it desirable to retire in our present home with peace and quiet prevailing. However we feel that it will be difficult for us to stay in the Bega Valley if this project goes ahead. We would be at a financial loss if we were to sell our place as the flight school would on all indicators drastically reduce the value of our property as well as the likelihood of anyone wanting to buy it. Difficult situation all around.

Jenny and Gerry MacNeil, Wolumla

Things will never be the same again

The Bega Valley will never be the same again if the Frogs Hollow Chinese flight training school is allowed to proceed. A small group of greedy, selfish individuals, grandly calling themselves Sport Aviation Australia (SAA), will seek to make a small fortune at the expense of thousands of Bega Valley residents whose lives will be devastated. Mental health issues and severe depression will result as a direct result of this activity, with a take-off and landing occurring every two to three minutes and the constant whining noise overhead will drive people to despair.

Night shift workers who make a significant contribution to the local economy and well-being of the region, such as hospital staff and Bega Cheese employees, will struggle to sleep during the daylight hours as the proposed training school will run between 7am to 6pm, seven days a week. Residents of the Bega Valley will see their property values diminish drastically due to this development, perhaps to a point of owing more to the bank than the property could be sold for (assuming someone would be willing to even buy it).

To add insult to injury every time you walk outside and see a training aircraft the residents of the Bega Valley would be reminded of the reason they are in such dire straits. I seriously fear for the lives of people living specifically within the Frogs Hollow area as they will feel they have been pushed in to a corner with nowhere to go. SAA needs to understand there are families of five generations in the Bega Valley and if they think the residents are going to sit back and quietly allow this development to ruin the lives of thousands of people they had better think again. The battle to stop this abominable development has only just begun.

Will Middleton, ​Frogs Hollow