Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:38

Federal leaders acknowledge Badgerys impact

Aeroplane flying over Western Sydney Aeroplane flying over Western Sydney

This month our federal leaders took a significant step in acknowledging the impact a Western Sydney Airport will have on local residents.

WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said WSROC previously outlined its severe disappointment in the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Airport Plan for the Western Sydney Airport; particularly the concentration of flights over a single community in the Blue Mountains. 

“This acknowledgment from our federal leaders is significant because it means both major parties are open to discussing the very real impacts this airport could have on Western Sydney residents; particularly if not designed correctly,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Earlier this month Bill Shorten announced that he would limit night time flights to the south west, reducing noise impacts on densely populated areas of to the north and east.

“Shortly following this, Mr Turnbull declared that the proposed point merge over Blaxland would be scrapped in favour of a more evenly distributed set of flight paths, and thorough environmental review.

“WSROC cannot offer support to either plan without further detail and adequate consideration. However, it is encouraging that both parties have committed to review flight paths to ensure minimal impacts on the almost one million residents living in the surrounding LGAs,” he said. 

“This decision followed strong community objection to the draft EIS, and I commend the 5000 residents who made submissions to the government, and the local councils who led these efforts,” said Cllr Hadchiti. 

“In addition to a review of the currently proposed flight paths, WSROC would like to see an in-depth investigation into the traffic, economic and social impacts of the proposed Western Sydney Airport as part of the revision process. 

“Rail connectivity is key to this. Connecting the airport to the rest of Western Sydney, particularly along the north-south corridor between the Hawkesbury and Campbelltown is essential to the successful development of the precinct, and to ensure that Western Sydney is able to harness the full economic potential of the airport, not just suffer its draw backs,” said Cllr Hadchiti. 

“Late last year, an independent technical review, jointly funded by 11 Western Sydney councils, found that cumulative impacts, particularly with respect to transport had not adequately been taken into account in the draft EIS for the Western Sydney Airport. 

“Cumulative impacts include traffic and economic activity generated as a direct result of the airport’s construction such as shopping centres, warehousing and accommodation, and surrounding residential growth centres,” he said. 

“The peer review also found that the draft EIS did not always adhere to EIS Guidelines, did not conform to best practice in many areas, lacked detailed modelling and contained information gaps for several key assumptions including those surrounding local job creation,” said Cllr Hadchiti. 

“There is much to improve on with respect to the draft EIS and Airport Plan, however it is encouraging that both federal parties have committed to thoroughly review these documents,” he said. 

Councils who jointly funded the review include: Auburn, Camden, Campbelltown, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, Holroyd, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith and Wollondilly. The review was conducted in conjunction with WSROC and the Macarthur Regional Organisation of Councils (MACROC).


Related content:

Federal Election 2016: Transport

WSROC News: Independent review found gaps to be addressed.

WSROC Media Release: Badgerys EIS fails government's own guidelines