Cattle being mustered at the Hillview property at Kunwarara.
Cattle being mustered at the Hillview property at Kunwarara. Phillipa Rea

EXPLAINED: Military aircraft not just impacting mustering

MUSTERING is the key word the Defence Department is hanging onto in relation to military aircraft activities in the Shoalwater Bay.

Graziers are now required to give 48 hours notice to the ADF for a "no fly area" over their property ahead of mustering events.

But according to Shoalwater Bay land owner and aviation expert Roger Toole, who is also the spokesman for Shoalwater Bay landowners for this issue, 48-hours notice doesn't work in the real world of grazing.

"Mustering activities could need to take place at a moment's notice," he said.

Mr Toole explained cattle get spooked by other animals or noisy large military aircraft and bolt, requiring landholders to mustering back to their paddocks.

Mr Toole has raised his concerns with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.

"As for noise complaints and concerns regarding mustering, I will be discussing this in Canberra next Thursday with both the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Defence," Ms Landry said.

"Both of these industries are extremely important to our local economy and I would not want to see either of them compromised.

"I will be speaking to landholders over the coming days about the specific circumstances that place stress on cattle to understand the circumstances during normal mustering and transport situations, compared to during military exercises."

Mr Toole pointed out that the noise from a helicopter, which were sometimes used for mustering cattle, was a lot different and a lot quieter than the noise from a four-engine C-130 Hercules.

He said the noise from the turboprop military transport aircraft was so loud, it scared cattle and horses into running - sometimes through fences causing injuries to livestock.

"Everything is going to scatter in every direction (including children on horseback)," Mr Toole said.

The statement issued by the office of the Defence Minister said the exercise's flight activities information has been distributed by Airservices Australia through Aeronautical Information Publication Supplement (AIP SUP) H113/17 ) and discussed at community briefings.

The process allows property owners to apply for a "no fly area" over their property at least 48 hours ahead of their mustering. Singapore will consider these requests on a case by case basis depending on the planned exercise outcomes for a specific day. This will be done on a rolling basis until the conclusion of aircraft operations.

Any further inquiries, should be directed to 1800 DEFENCE. "



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