Home' Air Force News : June 6th 2013 Contents 12
June 6, 2013
First look inside test range
CPL Nick Wiseman
MEMBERS of the Woomera Prohibited
Area Advisory Board have visited the
Woomera Test Range for the first time.
The board was raised following the
Hawke Review of 2010 as part of a co-
existence model to manage the area's
use and issues that might arise between
the ADF and other stakeholders who use
The board comprises eight mem-
bers, including CAF AIRMSHL Geoff
Chair Stephen Loosley said the
board's aim was to directly advise the
Defence Minister on issues involving
"Woomera is a very important
national asset to the ADF and performs
very important functions for the ser-
vices," Mr Loosley said.
"The visit was productive and enjoy-
able and we all came away with a great-
er understanding of the significance of
The meeting at the Woomera
Prohibited Area from April 8-11 was the
second since the board was formed last
year and gave members the opportunity
to see the area first-hand.
The board members were greeted on
arrival by range staff and taken on a tour
of the facilities at the local support base,
more commonly referred to as Woomera
After a tour of the heritage muse-
um, where they got to see the histori-
cal aspect of the Woomera Prohibited
Area, the group was briefed by the
Compliance Management Team. The
team, made up of Air Force Service
Police, actively patrols the vast area of
the range and ensures all users comply
The board members also toured the
5FLT Heron Operations area, where
they saw the Heron Remotely Piloted
They then visited Lake Hart to wit-
ness how Air Force uses the range.
An Air-Surface Integration Officer
and a Joint Terminal Attack Controller,
both from 4SQN at RAAF Base
Williamtown, spoke about their roles
and then called in a F/A-18 strike that
released two Mk84 2000lb bombs.
A Heron RPA flew high above the
scene and a remote video device pro-
vided a feed to the group on the ground.
The board members were also
briefed on the operations area at the
range and how it controls and observes
testing throughout the vast training area.
CAF said Air Force would work hard
to ensure the recommendations of the
Hawke review were implemented.
"The review requires us to balance
our own Air Force testing needs with the
needs of mining, farming and tourism at
Woomera," AIRMSHL Brown said.
"Woomera provides a strategic asset
for Air Force. Not only does it allow
us to test many of our capabilities, it
contributes to our national security and
those of our international partners."
IN CLOSE RANGE: Top, FLTLT Steve Edwards, of 5FLT, speaks with
board members Angus Kirkwood, left, and Michael Shoebridge during a
visit to Woomera.
Photo: CPLs Nick Wiseman
to be fully realised
DEFENCE will remain the primary user
of the Woomera Prohibited Area under
legislation designed to ensure the area's
full national security and economic
potential is realised.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith
introduced the Defence Legislation
Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area)
Bill 2013 into Parliament on May 30.
"The Woomera Prohibited Area pro-
vides an essential capability for Defence
testing and evaluation," Mr Smith said.
The Bill will implement recom-
mendations of the Hawke Review into
the area which overlaps a major part of
South Australia's potential for significant
mineral and energy resources.
The South Australian Government
has assessed that during the next dec-
ade about $35 billion worth of iron ore,
gold and other minerals resources could
be mined from within the Woomera
The Bill also recognises that indig-
enous landholders, pastoralists with an
already established presence, and exist-
ing mining operations in the Woomera
Prohibited Area will continue to access
and operate under their current arrange-
The coexistence scheme established
by the Bill will only apply to new users
of the area, with existing users having the
option to join the scheme.
The area contains recognised tradi-
tional owners and indigenous sites.
"Under the Bill, permit holders who
gain access to the Woomera Prohibited
Area will be required to protect these
sites and comply with all relevant Native
Title laws," Mr Smith said.
The Bill will be supported by rules,
which include the provision for zones
and exclusion windows within those
Mr Smith said these rules would be
subject to extensive consultation with
users of the area.
"Stakeholders are encouraged to
provide the Woomera Prohibited Area
Coordination Office with their com-
ments," he said. "All reasonable sug-
gestions and contributions regard-
ing the rules will be considered by the
The rules are available at http://www.defence.
gov.au/woomera. Interested parties should
consider the draft rules and respond with
comments by July 12.
BOMB'S AWAY: A Hornet, inset,
after releasing a Mk84 2000lb
bomb in a live fire demonstration
at the Woomera Test Range.
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