Capertee Valley under helicopter threat again

Subject: Capertee Valley under helicopter threat again
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2007 18:30:52 +1100
Dear Birders,

Although outside the Canberra area, this email will concern anyone who visits or plans to visit the Capertee Valley (north of Lithgow NSW) and who values peaceful places and the natural soundscape. The helicopter saga has again reared its ugly head!

Some of you will remember early in 2005, a proposal was made to build a heliport at Capertee for the purpose of operating regular joy flights over the Capertee Valley and other surrounding areas. As this would pose a threat to the peace, tranquility and enjoyment of birding in this very special area, many birdwatchers responded with letters of objection to Lithgow Council while some birding and other environment groups spent considerable time and energy putting together detailed submissions. In December 2005 Lithgow Councillors resolved unanimously to reject the application. There can be no doubt that the outcry from birdwatchers, who represent an established and increasing source of tourism dollars for the local community, played a large part in this decision.

We all thought that was the end of it, but early last month the same developer submitted another development application (DA 319/06). From what I understand it is virtually the same as the previous application, except that a larger helicopter is proposed (Bell 47 instead of the smaller Robinson 2 door). Some more details: * More than 60 movements (30 flights) per week are proposed (i.e. uncapped number of flights). * Hours of operation to be 7.00am - 6.00pm Monday - Saturday and 8.00am - 6.00pm on Sundays and Public Holidays. But flights may occur at other times. * Proposed minimum altitude of flights to be 500ft above ground level (which in the valley is well below the level of the surrounding cliffs), and lower in some cases, e.g. for taxi service.


If you are concerned by this proposal, please take a few minutes to write a letter to Lithgow City Council General Manager, Paul Anderson, with copies to all Councillors (see addresses below). Mark clearly as referring to DA 319/06. It's important to outline the reason(s) why you object to the heliport and its proposed joy-flights (masquerading in the new EIS as "charter flights"). CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS 28th FEBRUARY 2007.

The full EIS can be downloaded from Lithgow City Council's website at:

Many of you are already aware of the valley's significance as habitat for woodland birds, including at least 18 threatened species. It's the most important breeding area for the Regent Honeyeater and has been nominated as an IBA (Important Bird Area). The proposed joy flights will also impact on the surrounding Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. If you need more information on the Capertee Valley and its birds, see my website:

For further information or to join Capertee Valley Environment Group, contact Veronica on email

See below for addresses to send letters. Thanks for reading this far, and thanks in advance for responding and helping to preserve our peaceful valley and the enjoyment of birding there.

Carol Probets
Capertee Valley/Blue Mountains NSW


Paul Anderson, General Manager
Lithgow City Council
180 Mort Street
Lithgow NSW 2790
(Mark attention of General Manager)

Please send copies to G.L.C.C. Councillors

Mayor Cr Neville Castle <>
Deputy Mayor, Cr Barbara Moran <>
Cr Margaret Collins <>
Cr Michael Wilson <>
Cr Martin Ticehurst <>
Cr Wayne McAndrew <>
Cr Howard Fisher <>
Cr Brian Morrissey <>
Cr Ann Thompson <>


The Hon. Sandra Nori, MP
Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreation

The Hon. Frank Sartor, MP
Minister for Planning

Mr Gerard Martin M.P.
Member for Bathurst

The Hon Bob Debus, MP
Minister for the Environment

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