Federal MP Ted O'Brien listens to Mudjimba residents' concerns.
Federal MP Ted O'Brien listens to Mudjimba residents' concerns. Kathy Sundstrom

Compensation for airport affected residents: Federal MP

A FEDERAL MP has given "in principal" support to compensating Mudjimba residents if their property values are "substantially decreased" as a result of the new runway.

Speaking at a community forum held in a Mudjimba park, the Member for Fairfax, Ted O'Brien said he didn't know all the factors involved with the planned east-west runway for the Sunshine Coast Airport.

However, he believed "in principal" residents may be eligible for compensation.

But if property values soared as a result of the costly infrastructure, future property developers who enjoy higher values in new developments that benefit from the airport upgrade might have to face a bill.

"In principal, where there is a substantive increase or decrease in the value of private property as a result of government action, then it is fair to expect consideration of a financial compensation," Mr O'Brien said.

He didn't know who would be liable, the Sunshine Coast Council which owns the airport and is behind the push for the runway, or the federal government.

About 15 people gathered in the stifling heat to have an opportunity to vent their frustrations to Mr O'Brien over how they felt they had "no representation" when it came to their concerns with the proposed new runway for the airport.

Another key question was whether the airport would operate 24/7 once the new runway was opened in December 2020 and it gained international status.

Mr O'Brien, who made it clear he supported the construction of the new runway, was unable to answer this question but said he would get advice.

Other concerns were fears the raising of land for the airport and other proposed developments in the area, such as Twin Waters West and Sekisui, would cause flooding for residents who have lived there a long time.

Glen Lamond, who has lived in area for decades and has been there for two major floods had no doubt older homes would be affected by the run-off from the fill on new developments.

"Unless you built here in the last year and half (on land raised to new flood level requirements) your property is going to flood," Mr Lamond said.

Residents told Mr O'Brien they felt they had "no voice" as "Fiona Simpson (State MP) has abandoned us, Jason O'Pray (councillor) has dumped us and Ted is our only hope".

They believed the Sunshine Coast Council was ignoring their concerns because it had a conflict of interest as it owned the airport.

Mr O'Brien promised to investigate residents' concerns about flooding, although he was satisfied the council and State Government were doing a thorough job to ensure proper process was being followed.

The Daily asked the Sunshine Coast Council if the airport would be open 24/7 once the runway was built or if there would be a curfew.

"The airport is already a 24-hour airport," a council spokesman responded.

"There are no plans to change the operational hours of the airport."