In 2014, Defence advised parents of plans to conduct extensive noise testing at our childcare centres at RAAF Bases Amberley, Darwin and Williamtown.
Although there are no internationally accepted standards for children’s exposure to loud noise, there is an emerging body of research that suggests they may be more sensitive to noise than adults.
The initial results of noise testing have not alleviated Defence’s concerns about the potential effects of noise exposure for children’s health and wellbeing.
While Defence has never received a report for hearing loss or learning difficulties concerning a child who has attended an activity on any of the three RAAF Bases, it is prudent to advise the early findings and to take appropriate action as soon as reasonably practicable.
Given the assessed health and safety risk to children, Defence intends to close affected centres through a staged transition plan that will allow for alternative care arrangements to be made.
The closures will be managed in conjunction with affected base staff and childcare centre operators, Mission Australia and support will be provided to facilitate new childcare arrangements and minimise disruption to the children and families who are clients of these centres.
Childcare centres at RAAF Base Tindal and Pearce will also be assessed for aircraft noise.
Parents seeking more information should talk to their childcare provider or call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
The previous media release is available at http://news.defence.gov.au/2014/11/25/noise-monitoring-at-childcare-centres/
Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999