2017-05-02: SAC refusal to run WSA rings alarm bells says Blue Mountains Mayor


02 May 2017

Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, has responded to Sydney Airport Corporation’s refusal to build and operate Sydney’s second airport at Badgery’s Creek saying it is not surprising and supports the majority community opinion.
 
“Sydney Airport Corporation’s decision not to accept the Australian Government’s offer to build and operate the Western Sydney Airport vindicates the community opposition to this white elephant project that is decades in the making”, said the Mayor.
 
“It speaks volumes that the Sydney Airport Corporation, an expert in airport operations, believes that the second airport presents a risk that is too high and an economic return that is too low.”
 
The Mayor said this decision proves the point that the ‘theatre’ of the Western Sydney Airport proposal is simply a desperate effort by the Australian Government to showcase a short term economic win at the cost of a long term social and economic disaster. “I wholeheartedly agree with Sydney Airport Corporation that the risks associated with this development and operation of Western Sydney Airport are considerable and will endure for many decades.”
 
“We know that the second airport is not in the best interests of the Western Sydney community”, said the Mayor “Maybe now that this proposal is “not in the best interests of our investors”, the Australian Government will start listening. People being reduced to economic units of production is the only language they seem to understand.
 
“In my view, the approval process has been a box-ticking exercise from day one. The whole process has been a con job that is strong on rhetoric and short on facts. To have such a flawed, short sighted proposal that offers a 20th Century solution to a 21st Century issue after 50 years of debate is frankly, woeful.”
 
Sydney Airport’s refusal proves this point and the fact that it was only ever a marginal proposition. As does the Deputy Prime Minister’s comment that despite this refusal, “we want to build Badgery’s Creek”. Need and want are two different things.
 
I hope this sends a strong message to the Australian Government to end the farce and focus on the needs of Western Sydney and not the wants of the short-sighted government. Issues of housing affordability, public transport infrastructure, food security, public health, air quality and urban heat would be a good start.
 
Aside from the economic risks that are now blatantly obvious, the Mayor said the Australian Government has repeatedly ignored significant concerns important to the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney community, including the aircraft noise, air quality and greenhouse gases, human health, traffic and transport, airspace architecture and operation, landscape and visual amenity, consultation process, and the threat to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

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