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 Post subject: RAAF Williams Point Cook to remain in Defence ownership and
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:29 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:13 pm
Posts: 1672
Location: South Australia
RAAF Williams Point Cook to remain in Defence ownership and management
Thursday - 20 September 2007 - PARLSEC98/07

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Mr Peter Lindsay MP, announced today that Defence will retain RAAF Williams Point Cook as an open working heritage base.

Mr Lindsay said Defence’s future use of RAAF Williams Point Cook would balance the operational, heritage, and community needs of the base.

“RAAF Williams Point Cook holds an important place in the history of Australia’s military aviation. Not only is it the home of the RAAF, it is also the longest continuously used Air Force base in the world,” Mr Lindsay said.

“The significance of the heritage value of the Point Cook site is demonstrated by its recent nomination for listing on the National Heritage List – the highest level of heritage recognition in Australia.”

RAAF Williams Point Cook currently attracts over 100,000 visitors a year. It has the potential to improve general public awareness of the aviation industry in Australia and Defence’s aviation history in particular.

“I have agreed with a recommendation to separate the Defence operational and public areas of the base into discrete precincts with appropriate levels of access.

“The public precinct will accommodate authorised commercial leases that use spare capacity of the airfield, the RAAF Museum and heritage buildings, and the Point Cook Primary and Pre-schools,” Mr Lindsay said.

RAAF Williams Point Cook will continue to be maintained by Defence as an operating airfield able to support military flying operations when required, as well as by the RAAF Museum.

The airfield will continue to be used, under arrangement, by civilian flying operators, although over time, commercial arrangements will be put in place similar to those at other airfields.

“Defence is taking steps to ensure that RAAF Williams Point Cook is a safe environment in which the Australian Defence Force, licensed stakeholders and the general community can coexist, while also maintaining the estate and the environment in a manner which improves the many heritage values of the site.”

Defence will conduct a series of stakeholder briefings today and tomorrow.

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