Blue Mountains and Blacktown unite against Badgerys Creek
The Mayors of two of western Sydney’s largest councils – the City of Blue Mountains and Blacktown City Council today vowed to keep fighting to protect their residents and ratepayers from the impacts of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.
Backed by some 250 people at a community forum held in Blacktown today, Mayors Stephen Bali (Blacktown) and Mark Greenhill (Blue Mountains) called on the Federal Government to give the people of western Sydney the same protection as those in eastern Sydney.
“Whether you agree with the airport or not, surely everyone agrees that those living around the proposed Western Sydney Airport should have the same level of protection as those living around Sydney Airport,” the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali said.
Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said the community should make no mistake that the World Heritage listing for the Blue Mountains was under threat should the proposed airport go ahead.
“The World Heritage Listing was only granted once the earlier Badgerys Creek airport plan was abandoned,” he said.
“The UN is monitoring it closely and if they pull the listing, then the four million tourists a year who come to the Blue Mountains will evaporate – and so will the jobs they create.”
Federal MPs Ed Husic (Chifley) and Sue Templeman (Macquarie) shared the Mayors’ concerns and supported the call for equal treatment of those living around the Western Sydney Airport.
“There are so many reasons why the current plans for an airport at Badgery’s Creek don’t stack up,” Mr Husic told the forum.
“The most obvious is the fact that the Environmental Impact Statement is grossly inadequate: it’s missing so much necessary information the community cannot come to an informed view.
Ms Templeman said the airport project is a vortex that will suck the infrastructure funding from the rest of Australia.
“Just think about it – the estimate is $150 billion – and the yearly spend for the rest of Australia is $10 billion. Just how many other projects are going to be shunted to make way for it?”
All four called on the Federal Government to re-examine the Environmental Impact Statement for Western Sydney Airport as it now stands.
Mayor Bali said it was more of a Project Justification Statement than an Environmental Impact Statement.
“We want the federal government to engage with the people of western Sydney in an open, transparent and honest way.
“Yet again we challenge them to address a true public forum, not one held in the middle of a working day that no one can attend.”
Mayor Greenhill called for a new EIS that is strong on facts instead of rhetoric and one that is worthy of the most significant proposal affecting the liveability of western Sydney for the next century.
“It is incomprehensible that the proposal for Sydney’s second airport doesn’t even chart out the intended flight paths.
“It’s time for the federal government to come clean and start dealing honestly with the people of the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney.”