Thank you to everyone who has offered their support to help PAC and the businesses on the airport to remain open.
As you all know around 100 people work across the airport precinct. Many of these are under direct threat by the Shire’s letters to stop work. We are currently in a truce where the Shire has said they will not enforce the stop work direction while we are talking, which is good.
The Shire has given us some insight into their claims but they have yet to formally provide the basis of their position. PAC’s legal opinion informs us we have all of the permits we require to operate, including Existing Use Rights after more than 50 years of continuous operation.
The Council appears to be focused on trying to apply new restrictions to our long-standing operations and the reason for this is unclear. This approach risks strangling what has become a vibrant and very successful community asset and commercial operation.
PAC membership has grown and is now approaching 600, with many of the Tyabb community joining as a show of support. Our reach via members and partners is well over 1000 people directly connected to the Club, and of course spreading out exponentially throughout the Peninsula.
It was wonderful to see the town come out to show their support for the Community BBQ. I was quite humbled by the hundreds of people who came along to tell us how much they value the airport and what it means to the town. It is also overwhelming to see that the petition now has more than 15,000 signatures from people showing their support. The petition was started by the community, not PAC, and the thousands of comments from Peninsula residents makes the weight of the numbers more relevant.
PAC always tries to be a “force for good” in the community and has given back over $100,000 from our last 2 airshows to local groups, collected 500 toys last year from our toy run, conducted over a 100 Angel Flights each year and supported numerous charities with joy flights and TIFs each month. As you know we hold regular open days for the community where hundreds come out to look at our collection of vintage, antique and warbirds for free.
We are part of the identity of Tyabb township and of the community. The voice of a handful of malcontents obstructing for obstruction’s sake (as with the church hour) cannot be allowed to override the views of the thousands of Peninsula residents who have strongly signaled their support for PAC and the airport.
I hope the Shire understands that their approach needs to be carefully considered. What started as a planning issue has exploded into a serious social issue which could cause significant job losses and irreparable damage to families and businesses.
I encourage you to write to the Shire at firstname.lastname@example.org and to use social media to encourage others to do the same. My only request in terms of the content is to be respectful in making your points as anything less is not helpful.