Australia — Supplementary JSF Environmental Report

Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Mar­shal (AVM) Geoff Brown, today released the report on the ini­tial 12 months of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions on the poten­tial envi­ron­men­tal impacts from the intro­duc­tion of the Joint Strike Fight­er (JSF) in 2017.
The report – Oper­a­tion of the New Air Com­bat Capa­bil­i­ty Sup­ple­men­tary Report to the 2009 Pub­lic Envi­ron­ment Report – reflects out­comes from Defence con­sul­ta­tions with fed­er­al, state and local author­i­ties, com­mu­ni­ty groups and indi­vid­u­als around Australia’s main oper­a­tional air bases.

The Sup­ple­men­tary Report: 

  • con­sol­i­dates the pub­lic feed­back on the Pub­lic Envi­ron­ment Report;
  • pro­vides Defence’s response to the issues raised and out­lines mit­i­ga­tion ini­tia­tives being considered;
  • out­lines the forth­com­ing for­mal Envi­ron­men­tal Impact State­ment process to be fol­lowed for the JSF’s intro­duc­tion; and
  • out­lines the scope for future pub­lic consultations.

“It is impor­tant to under­stand that Defence’s pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions to date on JSF’s intro­duc­tion have been ini­ti­at­ed vol­un­tar­i­ly by Defence – they have not been man­dat­ed under any envi­ron­men­tal leg­is­la­tion,” AVM Brown said.

“Defence released the Pub­lic Envi­ron­ment Report in late 2009 to pro­vide an ini­tial oppor­tu­ni­ty for stake­hold­ers to ask ques­tions and voice any con­cerns with the planned intro­duc­tion of the JSF.”

“The major­i­ty of issues raised over the year relate to future oper­a­tions at RAAF Base Williamtown and the Salt Ash Air Weapons Range,” AVM Brown said.

AVM Brown not­ed that with sev­en years to go until JSF’s planned arrival, the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions in late 2009 marked the begin­ning, not the end, of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on JSF’s introduction.

“The Pub­lic Envi­ron­ment Report was based on the best avail­able infor­ma­tion at the time and that infor­ma­tion is being con­tin­u­al­ly updat­ed,” AVM Brown said.

The Sup­ple­men­tary Report is a key doc­u­ment for Defence’s forth­com­ing refer­ral to the Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter for assessment/approval of the JSF’s introduction.

Defence is yet to for­mal­ly refer JSF’s intro­duc­tion to the Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter under the Envi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion & Bio­di­ver­si­ty Con­ser­va­tion (EPBC) Act. Once referred, Defence expects the Envi­ron­ment Min­is­ter will require a fur­ther for­mal envi­ron­men­tal study to be under­tak­en and this study will involve fur­ther pub­lic consultation.

Release of the report was orig­i­nal­ly planned for ear­li­er this year, how­ev­er, release was post­poned to enable con­sid­er­a­tion of the report by the Port Stephens Coun­cil. It also allowed Defence to ful­ly con­sid­er all options to reduce poten­tial air­craft noise impacts,” AVM Brown said.

The report includes the lat­est, and improved, air­craft con­cept noise maps. Fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of fur­ther mod­el­ling, Defence plans to con­sol­i­date the con­cept maps into a new 2025 Aus­tralian Noise Expo­sure Fore­cast (2025 ANEF) map for endorse­ment by the end of 2010 to replace the 2025 ANEF pro­mul­gat­ed in Octo­ber 2009. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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