Airport tenants face relocation | Coffs Coast Advocate

January 9, 2019 11:30 am

ANY development arguably comes with some sacrifice, and this reality rings true for the occupants of three buildings at Coffs Harbour airport.

The Air Force Cadets, the Air League Coffs Harbour Squadron and Coffs Skydivers will all be uprooted and the buildings demolished as part of the development of Coffs Harbour City Council’s Enterprise Park.

The park will comprise of a technology precinct, commercial outlets, aviation services and an industrial area spread over 98 lots, a development which is said to bring a boost for the local economy.

A spokesperson for the council confirmed they’ve been working with the current tenants to ensure there are “mutually beneficial outcomes” for all parties.

Toby Tyson – former Commanding Officer of the Air Force Cadets for more than two decades – admits he’s disappointed the building which holds sentimental value will be demolished.

Having previously occupied a small iron shed, community members chipped in with free labour and donations to put up the building in 1980.

“I received contributions and assistance from people around town…We had tradesmen who had no family involved in the unit at all doing enormous things for nothing,” he said.

“If the building must go, that’s fine. But the cadets need a building that is the equivalent to what they have now otherwise they will suffer.”

Deborah Hoiles, the current Commanding Officer, said they will be moving into the depot in town.

“The building does currently fall short of the standard Defence expects of cadet facilities but between now and when we move in May, there’s going to be some remediation works and new resources installed. It should become a very good facility.

“It’s a little bit sad but with change comes opportunity.”

Ean Rosenberg, Commanding Officer of the Air League, said he is in discussions with council over where they are to be located. Like the Air Cadets building, the Air League building came about from the generosity of the community, including a cheque from Russell Crowe.

“It took me two years of fund-raising to get the building up about 15 years ago. I was getting nowhere fast until a fellow, who owns a business in Sydney, generously put the building up. It cost us very little but cost him a small fortune.”

Over the years the cadets have rebuilt an old aeroplane which currently sits at the site, and Mr Rosenberg admitted they were having issues finding a location for it.

“The council have promised to do something for us, and they’ve said they would not see the Air League disbanded.”

Steve Hill of Coffs Skydivers said they will vacate their building by June, a site which they occupied for 22 years.

“We were uncertain we could keep our business open but we’ve been in discussion with council for alternative arrangements,” he said.


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