A Retrospective Review of the Social Impacts of the Tindal RAAF Base on Communities at Katherine, NT
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In the year 1983/84, the Commonwealth Government decided to redevelop a RAAF airstrip at Tindal into a northern air base in NT. It would replace RAAF Base Darwin that was situated close to the coast and susceptible to both cyclonic weather and any 'enemy' sneak raid attacks. Tindal is located about fifteen kilometres south from Katherine on the Stuart Highway. A social survey conducted in the second half of 1983 formed the basis for SIA predictions that appeared in the EIS. These encompassed social impacts that would occur during the construction phase and later throughout the operational phase. Included among the predicted impacts on local residents was aircraft noise from military aircraft flying overhead and this was confirmed by a social survey conducted in 1994. Other predictions included the integration of a RAAF population with its own set of values into a conservative Katherine community. The social survey of 1994 asks the same type of questions as asked in 1983, and the two sets of answers are compared over time. A subsequent longitudinal analysis follows the structural development of the Katherine population/community. A group of 1994 respondents was found to have resided in Katherine in 1983 and cohort by cohort their state of affairs discovered. As Katherine developed into a regional centre the views of respondents toward the RAAF became more accepting and residual social impacts from the redevelopment phase were difficult to find.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Australian School of Environmental Studies
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Royal Australian Air Force
air force bases