Thursday, 09 June 2016 16:10

West demands a plan for Badgerys

Aeroplane landed at sunset. Aeroplane landed at sunset.

Media release, 6 June, 2016

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has called on federal leaders to outline their plan for the proposed Western Sydney Airport, following ongoing uncertainty around the project.

WSROC President Councillor Tony Hadchiti said WSROC has been very clear from the beginning. If there is to be an airport built at Badgerys Creek it needs to be more than an unregulated runway in a sheep paddock.

“An infrastructure plan for a game-changing airport should include more than just roads. It should include public transport connectivity as well as hotels, conference facilities, shopping centres, and entertainment and exhibition facilities so that people don’t need to travel once they arrive,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Time and time again we hear claims that Badgerys Creek will solve the West’s problems; it will boost our economy and will create 60,000 jobs over the next thirty years. The uncomfortable truth is, Western Sydney needs well over 200,000 extra jobs, today.

“60,000 jobs over 30 years is a drop in the ocean. With the addition of one million extra residents, it is even less than that,” he said.

“If we are putting our hopes for increased employment in Badgerys Creek, then it must be more than just an airport. It needs to be an aerotropolis,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“The Badgerys Creek site is located beside the 10,000 hectares designated as the Western Sydney Employment Lands and can provide direct links to both the North West and South West Priority Growth Areas; soon to be home to half a million new residents,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“This provides a tremendous opportunity to build an integrated employment and recreation zone close to where residents live. If we do not, then these residents will be forced to join the commute to Eastern Sydney,” he said.

“But investment must be proactive. Simply waiting for investment to flow naturally will not create the required job density or industry diversity Western Sydney needs. There must be a coordinated, strategic approach to developing the airport precinct and surrounding employment lands.

“The creation of specialised knowledge precincts such as Luddenham Science Park is a good example of how we could attract investment and get the best return for Australia and for Western Sydney.

“An independent review funded by Western Sydney councils[1] found that the claims made by the federal government about economic generation and job creation were not explicitly tested as part of the draft EIS or Airport Plan; we believe this is unacceptable,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Sydney’s second airport should not be built on the basis of economic good will. A project of this calibre (and cost) demands a transparent and well-informed, strategic plan to ensure Western Sydney will see benefits, not just liabilities.

“So far this election, our federal leaders have attempted to address local concerns regarding flight noise; but flight noise, while important, is just the tip of the Badgerys iceberg,” he said

“Many questions still remain unanswered including: the full extent of environmental impacts on local residents and on the UNESCO World Heritage Area; how traffic congestion will be mitigated beyond the immediate airport precinct; where and when a rail network will be constructed; how the surrounding employment lands will be activated; and what other supporting infrastructure will be provided.

“Until these questions are sufficiently answered by the federal government, WSROC cannot fully support the proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek,” said Cllr Hadchiti


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Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 02 9671 4333 (ext 118) or 04 2587 1868

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